A Vegan Xmas: Bosh! Duo Share Their Recipe For a Plant-based Feast

The duo behind the largest plant-based recipe channel on Facebook, Bosh! shares a showstopping Christmas main recipe that makes a simple but clever tweak on a holiday favorite: beef Wellington.

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For some Christmas purists, the idea of sitting down to a meat-free holiday dinner may be a scandalous idea. But the environmental (and for some, the moral) imperative for reducing the world's meat intake is inspiring more and more carnivores to wean themselves off resource-intensive red meat, and adopt a plant-based lifestyle.  

Thanks to the growing movement of vegan influencers and social media stars like Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, who make up Bosh.TV, veganism is no longer as daunting as it perhaps once was. 

Several days a week, Bosh.TV's 1.8 million Facebook fans -- the largest plant-based recipe channel on Facebook -- tune in for new vegan recipe videos, short one-to-two-minute instructional videos shot overhead, BuzzFeed Tasty-style. 

Also read: Mushrooms: The wild but healthy fungi 

The British duo has been called the "Vegan Jamie Olivers" of the UK and their first cookbook "BOSH!: Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants" became the fastest-selling and first ever vegan cookbook to top the bestseller charts in the UK following its release this past spring. 

A second book, "Bish Bash Bosh!" is out April 2019 and pre-orders are already available. 

Here's their recipe for Mushroom Wellington from The Big Bosh! Roast chapter: 

Serves 6 
What you need: 
7 garlic cloves 
5 sprigs fresh rosemary 
6 sprigs fresh thyme 
4 portobello mushrooms (about 160g) 
1 tsp + 1 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp salt, plus a little extra 
2 tsp black pepper, plus a little extra 
1 large red onion 
2 tsp light brown sugar 
300g chestnut mushrooms 
125ml white wine 
200g vacuum-packed chestnuts 
250g pecans 
2 slices seeded bread (about 80g) 
2 sheets ready-rolled dairy-free shortcrust pastry 
4 tbsp plant-based milk 

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Large frying pan on medium heat. Food processor. Pastry brush, optional. Pastry cutters, optional. 

2. Peel and mince 4 of the garlic cloves using a sharp knife. Remove the leaves from 4 rosemary and 4 thyme sprigs by running your thumb and forefinger from the top to the base of the stems (the leaves should easily come away), then finely chop. 

Also read: 10 reasons to move to a whole food plant-based diet 

3. Lay the portobello mushrooms on one of the lined baking trays with the stems pointing up. Drizzle 1 teaspoon oil over the gills of each mushroom and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Divide the chopped rosemary, thyme and garlic between the mushrooms. Put the tray in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the red onion. Add the tablespoon of oil to the frying pan. Add the red onion to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until softened.

Also read: The weekly superfood recipe book: Mushrooms 

5. While the onions are cooking, peel and finely chop the remaining 3 garlic cloves. Remove the leaves from the remaining rosemary and thyme sprigs and finely chop. Measure 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon of the pepper and the sugar into a small bowl. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and sugar into the pan and stir everything round for 1 minute.

6. Put the chestnut mushrooms into the food processor and whizz until very finely chopped. Tip them into the pan, increase the heat to high and cook until softened and all the liquid has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes. 

7. Pour the white wine into the pan and stir it around for about 3 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has cooked off. Tip the mixture into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for 5 minutes. 

8. Put the chestnuts, pecans and bread into the food processor and whizz until they resemble breadcrumbs (you may need to do this in batches). Add to the bowl with the onions. Using a wooden spoon, thoroughly stir everything together until you have a thick dough-like mixture.

9. Lay 1 pastry sheet on the other lined baking tray. Spread half the chestnut mixture lengthways down the middle of the pastry sheet. Use your hands to mold it into a rectangle shape with a flat top, leaving at least a 3cm gap on all four sides. This shape will dictate the shape of the Wellington so make sure it's nice and straight and level on top.

10. Place the 4 cooked portobello mushrooms neatly on top of the chestnut mixture, stems facing up, making sure the sides of the mushrooms don't hang off the edges. Layer the rest of the chestnut mixture over the top, encasing the mushrooms. Smooth and shape into a neat, long, rectangular mound.

11. Using a pastry brush or your finger, brush a little of the plant-based milk around the exposed pastry edge. Lay the second pastry sheet over the mushroom filling and press it all down well, ensuring there are no air bubbles. Seal the edges by pushing down all the way round the filling with your fingers. Trim any excess pastry from the edges, making sure you leave a 1½cm crust around the base of the Wellington. Set the excess pastry aside for later. Use a fork to crimp all around the edges of the pastry to firmly seal the Wellington and to make it look nice.

12. Roll out the excess pastry if necessary and use a pastry cutter to cut out shapes. Brush the Wellington lightly with the plant-based milk and decorate the top with the pastry shapes. Brush the shapes with the plant-based milk. Pierce some air vents in the top of the Wellington with a fork or sharp knife.

13. Put the Wellington in the oven and bake it for 40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes (if it looks ready, remove it from the oven).  Use a bread knife to carefully cut the Wellington into slices and serve.

Image: Shutterstock


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