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The Ultimate Christmas Roast

Photographer: © Simon Smith

The Ultimate Christmas Roast

The Ultimate Christmas Roast

The Ultimate Christmas Roast. This is Christmas, all wrapped up … literally! The Christmassy flavours we all love are in this roast “beef” wellington. It’s so succulent and flavoursome.

Serves 6
Cooks in 150 minutes
Difficulty 7/10


For The “Beef”


Wet Ingredients  

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 leek, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of allspice

pinch of paprika

pinch of ground nutmeg

1 tbsp dried sage

2 tsp dried rosemary

30g (1/4 cup) dried cranberries

50g (1/2 cup) dried apricots

100g (1 cup) peeled and cooked chestnuts

240ml (1 cup) cider, from a 500ml (2 cup) bottle

240ml (1 cup) vegetable stock

1 tbsp miso paste


Dry Ingredients

250g (21/4 cups) vital wheat gluten

3 tbsp chickpea (gram) flour


For The Spice Rub 

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp dried sage

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried tarragon


For Roasting

remaining 260ml (1 cup) cider

1 orange

500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 bay leaf

handful of fresh thyme and  rosemary sprigs

1 tbsp miso paste

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 tbsp Cranberry and orange sauce

320g (111/4oz) block ready-made vegan puff pastry


For The Glaze

3 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp non-dairy milk

4 tbsp vegetable oil


For The Gravy

2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)

4 tbsp water


Make the “meat” dough. Heat the oil a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion, leek, garlic, seasoning, spices and herbs for 2–3 minutes.

Meanwhile put the cranberries, apricots and chestnuts into a blender and blitz until they’re all a similar size. Add these to the frying pan and sauté for 3–4 minutes until everything has softened. Pour in the cider, stock and miso paste. Stir together and allow the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes before turning the heat off.

Combine the dry ingredients. Once the wet mixture has cooled slightly, mix with the dry ingredients. It should form a nice dough.  If your mix is wet add a little more chickpea flour. Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Leave to rest.

Preheat your oven to 170°C (340°F). Combine the rub spices in a bowl. Shape the dough into a sausage 10cm (4in) in diameter. Sprinkle the rub onto your work surface. Roll the dough in the rub.

Roll the dough in a piece of muslin (cheesecloth), twist the ends tightly, then tie each end with cook’s string to secure it. Place the wrapped dough into a deep baking tray together with the rest of the roasting ingredients and bake for 2 hours on the bottom shelf, turning over half way through to ensure it cooks evenly. Once baked, lift the roast out of the tray, reserving the roasting liquid, leave to cool slightly, then remove the muslin. At this point you can either chill it in the fridge for up to 3 days or continue. If you are not cooking now, make the gravy (below) and keep in the fridge, then reheat.

An hour before you want to serve, roll out your pastry into a tea-towel-sized rectangle around 3mm (1/8in) thick. Cut strips a third  of the width of the pastry on each side, so you can cross them to make a lattice. Spread the cranberry and orange sauce over the roast, lift it into the centre of the pastry, wrap it up, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl, then brush over the top of the pastry. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden.

While the wellington is cooking, strain the roasting liquid from the baking tray through a sieve into a saucepan, pressing to squeeze out all the lovely juices. Place over a low heat and simmer for 10 minutes until you have a thick gravy. Mix the cornflour with the water and add it to the gravy whilst whisking until it thickens to your desired consistency. Remove the wellington from the oven, carve and serve with the rich gravy.


This is an edited extract from Vegan Christmas by Gaz Oakley published by Quadrille RRP $32.99 and is available in stores nationally.

Photographer: © Simon Smith (food images) & Peter O’Sullivan (lifestyle photography)

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