Vegetable and Tempeh Wellington with Shiitake Gravy
Ready in: 60 mins +
"This recipe may take a bit of preparation but it’s well worth it. Rather than making your own pastry, a short cut option is to purchase an organic, vegan pastry from the frozen section of your natural food store. With a plethora of roasted root vegetables, creamy mashed or roasted potatoes and gravy, it’s our go-to festive meal year after year. I would recommend making the vegan egg wash before assembling the wellington." Recipe and image courtesy of Marlene Watson-Tara, author of vegan cookbook, Go Vegan.
Ingredients:250g pack vegan puff pastry 225g pack organic tempeh*, cubed and marinated 1 bunch spinach, chopped 6 medium portobello mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick pinch of sea salt 2 tbsp red wine 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 large leeks, white part only, trimmed and cut into ½ inch slices 2 cups celery, thinly sliced 2 cups red onion, thinly sliced 2 cups carrots, thinly sliced 1 tbsp tamari ½ tsp dried sage ½ tsp dried thyme 1 large carrot, thinly cut on the diagonal and steamed basil pesto
To braise the tempeh:225g pack organic tempeh 1 tbsp shoyu 1 tbsp rice mirin 1 tbsp ume plum seasoning ½ tbsp freshly squeezed ginger juice 1 clove garlic, crushed ½ tsp dried mixed herbs
To make the egg wash:1 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea water) 1 tbsp almond milk ½ tsp maple syrup or brown rice syrup
To make the rich shiitake gravy:2 cups button mushrooms, very thinly sliced 2 cups fresh shitake mushrooms, very thinly sliced pinch of sea salt 1 tbsp tamari 1 cup rice or almond milk ½ cup vegetable stock 1 tbsp kuzu dissolved in ¼ cup water
- Cut the tempeh into bite-sized cubes. Add all of the other ingredients to a jar, close the lid tightly and shake well to mix.
- To cook the tempeh, warm a little filtered water in a heavy-based pan over a low-medium heat, add the tempeh cubes and cook covered for five minutes. Pour over the marinade, cover and cook on a low heat for 25 minutes, adding water if the pan dries out. Transfer to a large bowl.
- For the pastry, follow the instructions on your pastry packet for thawing. Remove the pastry from the box and lay on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Let sit for 15 minutes, then gently roll and allow the pastry to come to room temperature.
- For the greens, bring a small pan of filtered water to a boil. Pop the spinach into a steamer basket, cover and steam the spinach for a 1–2 minutes, until wilted. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.
- In a heavy-based pan, heat a little filtered water and cook the mushrooms with a pinch of sea salt for 7–8 minutes. Add the red wine and allow to soak into the mushrooms; cook until the pan is dry. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.
- Now make the filling. Using the same pan, add a splash of filtered water and sauté the garlic, leeks, celery, onions, carrots, tamari and herbs. Cook for 5–7 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow the mixture to cool. Add this mixture to the tempeh bowl, use a paper towel to blot any moisture from the mixture, then transfer to a dish and chill in the fridge. The secret to a deliciously juicy yet flaky wellington is to pat everything dry and make sure it is completely cold before wrapping it in your vegan puff pastry.
- When you're ready to stuff the wellington, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Layer the mushrooms onto the prepared pastry sheet, spreading them evenly along the edge of the pastry nearest to you. Layer some of the filling on top of the mushrooms, then the spinach, and top with a layer of the steamed carrots. Add a thin layer of basil pesto along the full length of the filling. Very carefully fold the pastry over the top of the mixture and press down to seal the edges. Trim any excess pastry and crimp around the edges with the back of a fork. Using a sharp knife, score diagonally across the pastry in both directions. Put in a couple of vents by pushing a sharp knife down into the middle of the pastry.
- To make the vegan egg wash, whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, very lightly coat the wellington. Place the baking tray with the wellington in the freezer for 10 minutes before repeating with another layer of vegan egg wash, and freezing for a further 10 minutes.
- Place the baking tray in the oven for 30–35 minutes, or until golden and flaky. Beautifully layered colours of delicious vegetables encased in puff pastry will be the end result, and served with some shiitake gravy, this is heaven on earth.
- To make the gravy, heat a splash or two of water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add all the mushrooms, sea salt and tamari and sauté for five minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Whisk in the milk and stock, then add the kuzu and stir constantly to avoid lumps. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until thickened, whisking often. Add more water if necessary, to reach the desired consistency. Serve as is or blend to a cream.
- Note: You can also use any remaining filling and leftover pastry to make mini pastries that are great for snacks or picnics. The leftovers also work well as a pie filling.