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Cashew Nut Roast with a Choice of Two Stuffings & Red Wine Gravy

kid friendly
cheap as chickpeas
freezable
3 spoon difficulty rating

20-30 minutes preparation plus 40 mins cooking time

Serves: 6-8

Cashew Nut Roast with a Choice of Two Stuffings & Red Wine Gravy

There’s something about a big roast dinner - and you don’t have to give that up when you go veggie or vegan. I cook this most Christmases and everyone loves it, including the meat-eaters! But it’s far too nice to limit to once a year. Serve with roast potatoes, mixed vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and sprouts - and gallons of gravy.

Top tips:

  1. Save yourself time by making it the day before you want it then just re-heat in the oven covered with foil.  
  2. Instead of one big roast, try making individual roasts from the mixture. Put them in muffin cases or just add straight into the holes of non-stick muffin tins. They look cute, keep their shape better (no slicing) and don't take so long to cook. The individual roasts can also be served as a kind of posh side, with roasted squash and peppers, say... and a different sauce, eg roasted tomato and red wine. The individual roasts freeze well, as does the gravy.

Freezable
Mini roasts OR individual slices freeze well, as does the gravy.

Budget
Mixed nuts work well and are cheaper but try and get unsalted. Otherwise, buy budget mixed nuts and wash off the salt . Or try hazelnuts or brazils instead of cashews.

Egg replacer for the nut roast 
Flax meal (Harvest Morn Golden milled linseed) can be bought cheaply from Aldi - and there are other brands.  This makes a 'flax egg' mixture when mixed with warm water. If you have an electric grinder, blitz the linseeds/flax seeds yourself - much cheaper. Store in the fridge.


Ingredients: 


  • Oil spray or 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine, eg Pure, Suma or Biona OR about 1½ tbsp extra oil
  • 225ml/8fl oz hot water + 1 tsp yeast extract (marmite, vegemite etc.) OR use same amount of strong stock or miso and water
  • 100g/just under a cup of flax meal (ground linseeds) mixed with some of the hot water/marmite mixture
  • 550g/16oz cashew nuts - pulse them in a food processor but not too fine. Leave some texture
  • 2 tsp fresh herbs or 1 tsp dried
  • 160g/6oz white bread crumbs
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Filling: choose from one of these
Mushroom & Garlic

  • 1 dsp olive oil (2 tsp)
  • 450g/1lb mushrooms, sliced medium
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 dsp soya sauce - tamari

OR
Smoked Tofu & Roasted Red Pepper

  • 1 pack smoked tofu, mashed roughly
  • 1/2 large jar roasted red peppers, sliced fine
  • 1 tsp soya sauce

 

Red Wine & Onion Gravy

  • 2 tbsp miso
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 shallots or 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 rounded tbsp wholemeal flour
  • 240ml/9fl oz vegan stock, eg Green Oxo or Marigold red or purple tub
  • 240ml/9fl oz red wine *
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • *Vegan wine: Viva!'s wine club is a good bet! The Co-op also labels its own wines as appropriate, so check the back of bottles. Otherwise try the mighty  www.barnivore.com/ which lists just about every vegan booze imaginable

Method: 

1. Melt the margarine or oil in a large saucepan and cook the celery and leek in it for a few minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F/Gas Mark 4.

3. Meanwhile, make the filling of your choice. If you're making individual roasts just add it into the main mixture. Otherrwise set aside.
- Mushroom: cook garlic in olive oil until golden. Add mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Add soya sauce. Let this cook gently, then drain off any liquid that’s left and reserve for gravy. Put mushroom garlic mix aside.
- Smoked tofu: mix mashed tofu with red pepper pieces and soya sauce. Set aside.

4. Make the roast. Mix the yeast extract into the hot water (alternatively you could use any stock you like) and add this to the leek and celery.

5. Stir in the  flax 'egg', nuts, herbs, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper and mix well. Let the mixture cool slightly while you grease a loaf tin.

6. To make a big roast: place half the nut roast mixture in the tin and press down well - then add the mushroom and garlic stuffing (pressing down well again) and place the rest of the nut roast mixture on top. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes and allow to sit for a few minutes, covered. Turn it carefully out of the tin and slice. If making individual roasts, divide it into 6-8 portions. Place each portion in a well-greased non-stick large muffin hole or muffin case. Bake for 25-30 minutes, use a cocktail stick or sharp knife to check they are cooked through and hot in the middle and return to oven if not. If they're not quite cooked in the centre but are getting brown on the top,cover with foil or baking parchment for the remainder of cooking time.

7. While the roast is baking, make the gravy. In a small bowl, mix miso and hot water and mix well. Set aside.

8. In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, sauté shallots/onion in oil until translucent. Add flour and mix well; this will become pasty and dry.

9. Slowly start adding stock while stirring continually. Add a little bit at a time until everything becomes well mixed and there are no lumps. Use a balloon whisk to get rid of floury lumps if necessary. Add the wine now too. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thickened, stirring often.

10. Stir in miso, taste and season with salt and black pepper if necessary. Keep warm until ready to serve with the roast.

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