Thursday, 22 November 2012

Porcini and Chestnut Roast

There seems to be 1001 Christmas magazines around at the moment – every one of them promising the “Best Ever Christmas”...! They can't all be right, surely? The only one I’ve bought this year is the BBC Good Food Vegetarian Christmas; it’s OK but there’s nothing in there that makes me go “Wow – I must make that!”

I always pick up any free food magazines when I’m in a supermarket, though, just in case there’s something in there worth trying. There rarely is, actually, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a recipe for a Christmas stuffing in a Waitrose mag which looked like it had possibilities. It was listed as a stuffing but I thought it would convert, with a few tweaks and additions, into a tasty nut roast; so I changed some of the ingredient proportions, then added more mushrooms and a smidge of lemon to sharpen it up a bit and this is the result.

We had some for dinner last night with jacket potatoes and a tomato salad and I have to say it was really rather good; not the sort of thing I usually do for a midweek meal but it made a nice change and will definitely go on my list of 'keepers'. It'd be good for a Sunday lunch if served with all the usual suspects and, although I’m planning on serving Nut Roast Wellington for Christmas Day, I think it’s worth keeping this up my sleeve as an alternative.

1 medium onion, finely chopped
150g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tbsp olive oil
40g dried porcini
250g ciabatta breadcrumbs
300g vac-packed chestnuts
75g grated parmesan-style cheese
handful of chopped parsley
1 egg
1 tsp Marigold Stock powder
grated zest and juice of half a lemon

Put the ciabatta breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl. Soak the porcini in 250mls of boiling water for 10 minutes then strain, reserving the soaking liquid; chop finely and add to the breadcrumbs.

Sauté the onion and mushrooms in the olive oil for 5 minutes; add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes then add the veg to the mixing bowl.

Roughly chop the chestnuts, leaving some of the pieces quite chunky, and add to the bowl along with the cheese and parsley.

Mix the reserved porcini liquid with the beaten egg, stock powder, lemon zest and juice; pour over the breadcrumb mixture and stir really well. Spoon into a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake at 180C for 50-60 minutes.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting into thick slices to serve.

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