Updated: Jul 31, 2018
The is a filling vegetarian dish that can easily be adapted to be vegan, and is a great accompaniment to roasted meats amongst others. It's quite labour intensive but looks impressive!
To make it vegan, I buy a ready prepared pastry using oil rather than butter. How easy is that! I often use this short cut regardless of whom I'm cooking for!
Other steps you need to do to adapt it to be vegan:
substitute a 1/4 cup of mashed sweet potato for the egg in the walnut stuffing balls. This works reasonably well to bind together ingredients like this. An alternative method (which works even better) is to replace one egg with 1 tablespoon of milled flax seeds (freshly milled is better) with 3 tablespoons of warm water and mix well. Leave to combine for an hour and then use to substitute the egg when making the stuffing balls. Flax seeds are available to order from Amazon, Superdrug and directly from most health food stores.
substitute sunflower oil spread for the butter.
350g (120z) plain white flour
large pinch of salt
150g (6oz) lightly salted butter, diced
60-75ml (4-5 tablespoons) chilled water
75g (3oz) walnut pieces
2 large onions, peeled
4 celery sticks
60ml (4 tablespoons) oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
30ml (2 tablespoons) chopped fresh rosemary
30ml (2 tablespoons) chopped fresh parsley
175g (6oz) soft white breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten (or if cooking vegan substitute with 1/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes or milled flax seeds - see Tips)
salt and pepper
225g (8oz) baby onions or shallots
450g (1lb) carrots
350g (12oz) parnsips
225g (8oz) turnips
50g (2oz) butter (or vegan sunflower spread if cooking vegan)
30ml (2 tablespoons) mustard seeds
25g (1 oz) plain white flour
450ml (3/4 pint) strong beer e.g. choose a vegan friendly bottled or canned beer like Guinness or Samuel Smith (see The Vegan Punk for a full list of beer options that are vegan friendly)
450ml (3/4 pint) vegetable stock - see Tips to ensure it's vegan friendly
3 bay leaves
30ml (2 tablespoons) chopped fresh oregano
2 x 240g (8 1/2 oz) cans whole chestnuts or 450g (1lb) cooked fresh ones, peeled
225g (8oz) button mushrooms
beaten egg, to glaze (except for when cooking vegan)
brush with soya milk to cook it vegan.
To make the pastry:
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the fats until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to mix to a firm dough. Knead lightly, then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge while preparing the filling.
To make the stuffing balls:
Finely chop the nuts, onions and celery. Heat 30ml (2 tablespoons) of the oil in a frying pan and fry the nuts, onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the celery and fry for 1 minute. Let it cool slightly, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
Shape the stuffing into small balls, 2.5 cm (1 inch) in diameter. Heat remaining oil in a clean frying pan and fry the stuffing balls for 2 minutes or until golden, Drain and leave to cool.
For the filling, peel the onions or shallots, but leave whole. Peel and slice the carrots and parsnips. Peel the turnips and cut into chunks.
Melt the butter in a large pan and fry the mustard seeds until starting to pop. Add the onions and carrots; fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour, then gradually stir in the beer and the stock. Add the parsnips, turnips, herbs and seasoning. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Leave it to cool.
Add the chestnuts, mushrooms, and stuffing balls to the filling. Stir carefully, then turn into a 2.3 litre (4 pint) pie dish. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to cover the pie dish. Flute the edge.
Brush with beaten egg or soya milk, and decorate with pastry leaves and a rose shaped from the trimmings.
Bake at 200C (400F) or Gas Mark 6 for 25 minutes, then at 160C (325F) Gas Mark 3 for a further 25 minutes. Serve with a green vegetable.