Prep time: 30 minutes plus 1 hour chilling time Cooking time: 40 minutes Makes 2 Wellingtons
For the pastry: (Or buy vegan-friendly puff pastry, I use Jus-Rol)
125g strong plain flour
125g vegetable baking fat, room temperature but not too soft (can be found in most supermarkets)
Around 75ml cold water
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
To glaze: 1 tbsp almond milk, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1 tsp vegetable oil
For the filling:
4 x Portobello mushrooms
3 x red onions, diced
2 sprigs thyme
2 tsp wasabi mustard (link)
Salt and pepper to taste
For the gravy:
1 tbsp oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped into wedges with the skin left on
1 small carrot, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tsp plain flour
2 tsp blackcurrant jam
150ml red wine
150ml good quality vegetable stock
1 tsp black treacle
First make the pastry. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, then dice up the butter and add. Rub the butter into the flour a little, enough that you can still see some chunks of the butter throughout the flour. Add in two thirds of the water and mix together until a soft but not sticky dough is formed. Add more water if needed. Cover the dough with cling-film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently. Form into a rectangle shape then roll out the rectangle until it is three times the length, rolling in one direction only and being careful not to over work. You should still be able to see streaks of vegetable fat. Fold one third of the pastry into the centre, then repeat with the other side so that the thirds all overlap. Turn the pastry 90 degrees then roll out and fold in the same way again. Refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes before repeating this process. The pastry then must be refrigerated for a further 30 minutes before using.
While your pastry rests in the fridge, prepare the Wellington filling. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the mushrooms on a baking tray, drizzle them with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Pick the leaves from the thyme sprigs and scatter these over the mushrooms. Place in the oven for 8 minutes, so that the mushrooms are just about cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to drain on some paper towel; they should release quite a lot of liquid as they cool down.
Next place a frying pan on a medium heat with a splash of oil. Once the oil is hot add in the diced onion along with a pinch of salt. Fry for a couple of minutes, then turn down the heat to low. Continue to cook for at least 10 minutes, keeping an eye on them and stirring occasionally so they don’t burn or catch on the bottom of the pan. Once cooked the onions should be completely soft and caramelised on the outside. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the onions from the pan into a bowl. Refrigerate until cool.
Wipe out the pan with some kitchen paper and return it to a low heat. Add in a splash of oil then fry the watercress from around a minute , or until wilted. Tip into a bowl and season, then refrigerate along with the onions and mushrooms.
Once your filling ingredients are completely chilled you can start to assemble your Wellingtons. It’s important that they are completely cold, otherwise the pastry will not keep its shape. Prepare a flat baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it into a rectangle on a floured surface. The thickness should be slightly thinner than a pound coin.
Cut the rectangle in half down the middle. You need to make sure you have enough space to add in the filling, fold the pastry over and crimp the edges. Place the pastry onto your prepared baking sheet.
Take your mustard and use a pastry brush to cover the pastry pieces with a thin layer, leaving a 2cm gap around the edge where the pastry will be sealed. Next take your wilted watercress and, before using, squeeze out as much moisture as possible. This will help prevent the pastry from becoming soggy. Once you have squeezed out as much liquid as you can, take half the watercress and use it to cover half of each piece of pastry, leaving one side free as this will be folded over the top. Repeat with the caramelised onions.
Next place a roasted mushroom on top. Add the remaining watercress and spinach on top, then place on a second mushroom before folding over the pastry, being careful to keep all the filling inside. Trim off any excess pastry then crimp the edges with a fork.
Combine your glaze ingredients together, then brush all over the Wellingtons. Refrigerate them for 10 minutes, then re-glaze. Place back in the fridge and refrigerate for a further 10 minutes. Score very lightly with a sharp knife and then place into a preheated oven at 190°C for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked on the bottom. Leave to rest for 4-5 minutes before serving.
While the Wellingtons cook, start your red wine gravy. Place a saucepan over a medium-high heat and add in 1 tbsp of oil. Once the oil is hot add in the onions, carrot and celery as well as the bay leaf. Fry for around 10 minutes, or until the veg has started to caramelise on the outside. Remove the bay leaf, then add in the blackcurrant jam and stir through. Cook for one minute, being careful that the jam doesn’t burn, then add in the flour. Cook for a further minute, stirring continuously. Next pour in the red wine bit by bit. Stir thoroughly, ensuring that any caramelised bits of veg or jam are scraped off the bottom so that you get the maximum flavour possible.
Once the wine is fully incorporate add in the vegetable stock and black treacle, then simmer on low for 10 minutes. To finish, strain the sauce through a sieve, using a wooden spoon to push through the liquid and extract as much flavour as possible from the veg. The sauce can now be refrigerated and kept for up to 3 days in the fridge or frozen for month. If you are planning on using the sauce straight away just keep it in a pan to one side and reheat when needed.