So I invited my friend round for a Christmas roast but I have never made a vegan one, so my challenge was set. I wanted to make a nut roast that would epitomise the taste of christmas and show that a meatless Christmas can be just as tasty. It can be made ahead or just before you put it in the oven. And this is how I did it.
What you need:
- 2 Parsnips
- 4 Linda McCartney Sausages, finely diced
- 6 Closed Cup Mushrooms finely diced
- 125-150g of Chesnuts
- 1 Red Onion halfed and sliced
- 1 Clove of Garlic crushed or 2 tsp of Lazy Garlic
- 30g unsalted Cashews
- 30g Pecans
- 15g Chopped Hazelnuts
- 15g of Pine Nuts
- 75g Panko or Fresh Breadcrumbs
- 4 tbsp of Plain Flour
- Vegan Butter (I used Pure sunflower)
- 1 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tbsp of Agave
- 3 tbsp of Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp of Dried Rosemary
- 1 tsp of Dried Sage
- 1 tsp of Dried Parsley
- 3 tbsp of Chia Seeds ground and mixed with water to create you ‘egg’.
What you need to do:
- Pre heat your oven to gas mark 6 (This is the same temperature that the Roast potatoes are cooked at).
- Peel the parsnips and cut the thinner half from the thicker half. Cut the thinner half into another half lengthways and the slice the thicker half into 4 flat slices. Then put to steam for 5-6 minutes. Take them off the steam and leave aside with the lid off to cool and dry.
- Then starting with the cashews and pecans, toast them in the oven, grill or dry frying pan then add in chopped hazelnuts and pine nuts until golden brown. Leave aside to cool.
- Add a small knob of butter and a couple of sprays of oil (to stop butter burning) into the same frying pan, once melted add in sliced red onion and fry for 5-7 minutes until softened. In the last couple of minutes add in balsamic vinegar and agave til sticky and sweet, mix well then transfer into a mixing bowl.
- After rinsing the same frying pan, to rid of the balsamic stickiness, add another small knob of butter and couple sprays of oil and add in your mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and fry until they soften, then add in the Linda McCartney sausages and crumble in the chestnuts and add in your garlic. Gently combine and once lightly cooked add into the mixing bowl too.
- Then roughly chop your cooled nuts and add to the chestnut mixture along with your flour, breadcrumbs, rosemary, sage and parsley and season with a little more salt and pepper. Combine well.
- Return to your frying pan and add in a small knob of butter along with a big squeeze of maple syrup and a little salt and pepper. Whilst the butter melts mix well and once the melted mixture starts to heat up, lay in your cooled steamed parsnips so they are spaced out in the pan. Allow to fry for 3 minutes, but always keep an eye on them just in case they start start to burn. Turn over and fry for another 3 minutes, so you are left with slightly caramelised parsnip slices.
- In your loaf tin, spray a little oil and grease well with kitchen roll then line the bottom with a rectangular piece of baking paper. Take your parsnip pieces and place them so they create a flat layer then entirely covers the bottom of your tin.
- Finally combine your chia ‘egg’ into your nutty sausage mixture (this will hold it together and stop it crumbling when it comes out) then add it on top of your parsnips in to the loaf tin pressing down into all to the corners until all the mixture is in. Continue to press the mixture down with a fork or spoon until flat and seems like it cannot be pressed anymore.
- Put in the oven for 40 minutes, after your roast potatoes have been in for their first 40 minutes. Check on it after 20 minutes when you check your potatoes again and cover with tin foil if it seems like it’s getting to brown to quick.
- Allow to rest for a minute or too, then place chopping board on top of the tin then turn over, and the nut roast should slide out of the tin and all in one piece.
- If you are serving with the Pan Tossed Maple Carrots and Parsnips (Recipe to follow) brush any remaining maple caramel from the frying pan on to the top.
- Slice the ends off and cut into slabs and ENJOY!
I served it with:
- Roast Potatoes – *Recipe to follow*
- Pan Tossed Maple Carrots and Parsnips – *Recipe to Follow*
- Festive Balsamic Red Cabbage – Add 1 stick of Cinnamon and 1 Star Anise to the Balsamaic Braised Cabbage which is already on my feed.
- Spiced Cranberry Sauce – *Recipe to Follow*
- Gravy (Bisto Granules made with Parsnip and Carrot Water)
- Peas (Frozen ones boiled up 8 minutes before you serve up)
FYI – Any remaining Nut Roast makes awesome left over sandwiches with any left over Cranberry sauce!