Vegan Christmas Dinner: Portobello Wellington

Christmas dinner is the highlight of the day for many people, especially adults who don’t get a mountain of toys to keep them occupied. With this being the first year Aaron and I are vegan for the festive fun I’ve spent some time researching exactly what we will be having for our vegan Christmas dinner. If you’re not a vegan still check out the recipe, it’s sooo good!

Vegan Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner From The Past

I grew up celebrating Christmas like most people. Turkey was the feature of the dish with a gammon on the side then a spread of roast vegetables, stuffing and gravy; we had ALL the trimmings. Our Christmas day was very meat-focused as we’d have bacon butties in the morning, at least two joints for dinner and pigs in blankets with a fresh made meaty gravy.

Aaron didn’t celebrate Christmas growing up (religious reasons) and his first real Christmas was the one before we met. He went to his friend’s house to celebrate. Since we’ve been together he has been drowned in the stuff but still isn’t all that keen, except for the tree and the food.

We’ve avoided turkey most years and opted for something more special such as lamb or three bird roast. Even last year when we went vegan the first time, my thoughts turned to Christmas MONTHS before the actual event. I couldn’t picture not having meat on the table on Christmas day and we agreed we’d “treat” ourselves to a roast, just for the day.

Christmas Day Options

This year we are flat our refusing to cook meat. We’ve told the family that they’re fine to bring it if they want but I won’t be serving any meat or dairy products on the day.

I’ve spent a few weeks researching ideas about what I could serve up that would satisfy even the most dedicated of meat eaters. Options have included:

Nut Roast

A nut roast is basically a more elaborate block of stuffing. It consists of different nuts whizzed together with breadcrumbs, onions and herbs with stock to add moisture then baked in the oven. We have them occasionally and I had thought to do a Christmas themed one with sage and cranberries. Instead, I’m thinking of just having a nut roast as a side dish, or even just stick to stuffing.

There is always the option to buy a nut roast from a local supermarket but they’re easy enough to make.

Meat Substitutes

Food creations have improved so much over the last 10 years or so and now there is a “meat-free” option for almost anything, in fact, some plant-based imitations taste better than real meat. You can now buy things like haggis, roast “beef” slices and steaks so if you’re wanting a meat-free meat option for your festive feast then you can look into that.

This Year’s Dinner

After much thought and research, a video on Facebook dropped into my lap. The awesome guys over on the Bosh Facebook page decided to put together a full Christmas dinner and it looked so good. The main was a Portobello Mushroom Wellington and I immediately decided that it was what we were having.

However, I do get a little nervous about trying things for the first time (especially something as important as Christmas day dinner) so I had to do a trial run last night. I posted the result online and had so many people asking for the recipe that I decided I will write it up on here for all to see.

Full credit goes to Bosh and I’ll drop their video below the recipe. This was an amazing dish that is so becoming a regular.

Portobello Mushroom Wellington Vegan

Bosh’s Vegan Portobello Mushroom Wellington

I had a slight play with the recipe and condensed it for Aaron and I. I halved everything except the fried red onions in white wine and the garlic for the mushrooms (because everything needs more garlic). The halved recipe fed Aaron and I, with Aaron taking a slice to work and Eban having the end bit of pastry because he doesn’t like mushrooms. So I’d say this recipe could serve 6, or 4 if you’re REALLY hungry.

I’ll split each section into ingredients and instructions, read the whole thing before starting.

The Mushroom Prep

  • 4 Portobello Mushrooms
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic – chopped (I’d personally double it)
  • 1 tbsp Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Rosemary
  • Sprinkle of Salt
  • Pepper to taste.

Place the mushrooms in a heatproof dish and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle on salt, split the chopped garlic between the mushrooms, add thyme and rosemary then season with pepper.

Bake in the oven at 200oC (fan) for around 15 minutes depending on the size of the mushrooms. Mine were huge so took a little longer – you don’t want them fully cooked in my opinion.

The Stuffing Prep Part One

  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Red Onion – chopped (I’d personally double it)
  • 1 cup of White Wine
  • 1 tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp Thyme
  • Sprinkle of Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp of Brown Sugar

Add oil to hot pan. Gently fry onions, not to brown just to go translucent. Add rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and continue to cook. Add white wine and allow to reduce. Add brown sugar and continue to reduce. Mine was a sticky sauce by the end, didn’t look exactly like the video but was all good. Remove from pan and add to a bowl.

The Stuffing Prep Part Two

  • 2 cups of Chestnuts – I bought them ready to use (Chinese section of the supermarket)
  • 2 cups of Pecans
  • 2 slices of Seeded Bread
  • 1/2 cup of Vegetable Stock

Add chestnuts, pecans and bread into a food processor and blitz together. You can use a hand blender, I used my Nutri Blitzer (which is featured in my vegan gift guide). Add bread/nut mixture to the onion mixture and combine. Add the vegetable stock and mix.

The Assembly

  • 2 sheets of Shortcrust Pastry – I used one for just the two of us.
  • Olive Oil for brushing
  • Milk – I used oat

Roll out one of the shortcrust pastry sheets onto a baking sheet. Place three blobs of stuffing mixture into the middle of the sheet and flatten, try to keep it neat. Add two mushrooms with stalk facing up then the other two in between with the stalks down – you really are best watching the video to see what I mean.

Cover the mushrooms with the rest of the stuffing, surround them like a stuffing duvet. Brush the outer edges of the pastry with olive oil and lay the second pastry sheet over the top. Trim off the excess (I didn’t do this for the trial run, wasn’t too bothered about it being pretty), seal the edges with a fork. Add any fancy pastry decorations, I recommend Christmas themed, and a few fork holes

Brush the whole thing with milk and bake in the oven at 200oC for 40 minutes.

Remove and enjoy. I also repeated “The Stuffing Prep Part One” to make a gravy by adding veg stock and cornflour.

The Rest Of The Meal

For starters I’ll be serving a family favourite of parsnip soup, everyone loves that. Alongside the Wellington there will be roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips, mashed and whole sprouts, turnip and carrot mash, stuffing and gravy. IF I can perfect a vegan Yorkshire pudding mix before then that’ll be on there too.

Dessert is still undecided. I’m extremely tempted to try a tiramisu for the grownups and a trifle for the kids but I’ve seen so many things I just can’t decide.

So there we go! A seriously tasty main course for all you vegans out there, if you’re looking to cater for vegan family/friends or you just don’t fancy a plate of dead animal this Christmas. If you give it a go then please let me know what you think, I’m already excited to make it again.

This will be my first Christmas as a vegan and as you'd expect, I was a little worried about what we'd be having Christmas day that was a little special. I didn't need to worry as I soon discovered a delicious Portobello Mushroom Wellington.

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