A personal Yuletide favourite
Our Christmas recipe is one that’s close to my heart as it’s the nut roast that I’ve been bringing to our family’s Christmas Day celebrations since I can’t remember when. It’s Rose Elliot’s Brazil Nut Roast en Croute and comes from her ‘Supreme Vegetarian Cookbook’ which was first published in 1988. I know that we’ve moved on a lot in terms of vegetarian/vegan consciousness as well as in the range of amazing ingredients at our disposal since then but Rose Elliot was such a trail blazer when vegetarianism was still ‘wacky’ and this is still a humdinger of a recipe so what more need I say? It takes a little bit of prep and, as that’s not what you want to be doing on Christmas morning, I like to make it early on Christmas Eve and have nothing to do but pop it in the oven on Christmas Day. And, as every good roast needs a good gravy to go with it, we’re suggesting a classic gravy recipe from Cranks Cook Book. Enjoy.
Ingredients (Serves 8)
450g/1lb of flakey/puff pastry
beaten egg to glaze (optional)
For the Nut Roast
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
50g/2oz butter or vegan margarine
450g/1lb brazil nuts, finely ground
225g/8oz fresh fine breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 tbl lemon juice
2 eggs (optional)
a good pinch each of grated nutmeg, ground cloves & ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Stuffing
225g/8oz fresh fine white breadcrumbs
25g/1oz chopped parsley
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tbl lemon juice
1 tsp each dried thyme and marjoram
1 tbl grated onion
75g/3oz butter or vegan margarine
8 clementine halves filled with cranberries
1. Preheat the oven 200c/Gas Mark 6.
2. To make the nut roast, fry the onion in the butter or vegan alternative for 10 minutes, until soft but not browned.
3. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the nut roast ingredients. Season.
4. Make the stuffing by mixing all the ingredients together to form a soft mixture which holds together.
5. Roll out the pastry on a floured board to a 30 x 35 cm rectangle.
6. Form the stuffing into a sausage about 25cm long and place down the middle of the pastry. Pile the nut roast mixture all over the stuffing, covering it.
7. Fold the ends of the pastry up to enclose the nut mixture completely. Tuck in the ends, then place on a damp baking sheet, join-side down. Mark a lattice design on the top.
8. Make one or two steam holes, decorate with pastry trimmings and brush with beaten egg, if using. Bake for 30 minutes, until crisp. Garnish with clementine halves filled with cranberries and thyme sprigs.