Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How to make an easy vegan Sunday Roast

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It’s really, really good.

When the days get colder and the nights get longer, there’s nothing like a good roast on a Sunday. Well, if I’m honest, I’d never actually had a Sunday Roast, even before I went vegan, but one day the inspiration just struck.

Unfortunately, after much searching, I couldn’t find a great everything-in-one recipe. Eventually I found and altered a few different recipes from various sources, combining them into a roast that was hearty, warm and (surprisingly) simple. Despite never having attempted a meal like this, I got everything spot-on first time. And the result, apart from glowing self-satisfaction? Comfort food at its best: golden roast potatoes, rosemary roasted carrots, a side of brussels sprouts and peas, and herby mushrooms and Yorkshire pudding smothered in the best homemade gravy you’ve ever had. Incredible. Here’s how to do it! (This recipe serves four. Ingredients list at the end of the post!)

  1. Start by making your gravy. It’s best to do this first as this gravy can be left to cool for reheating later without the flavour or texture suffering. The gravy I made was an adaption of a Jamie Oliver recipe, minus some ingredients I didn’t have on hand. You can also store this in the fridge as it keeps very well. Peel and finely chop two brown onions, two carrots, and two sticks of celery. Add some thyme and two tablespoons of olive oil to a pan. Fry the carrots, onion and celery until they start to brown. Add two tablespoons of brown sugar and stir until the vegetables are sticky. Stir in three tablespoons of white flour, along with two tablespoons of tomato puree, and two tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add a litre of vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the mixture is nice and thick (around 15 minutes). Pass the mixture through a sieve – though leaving the chunky vegetables in makes for a nice change to the more traditional, thinner gravy. Set aside.
  2. Prepare your mushrooms as your meaty centrepiece (I’ve since used store-bought sausages and they go down a treat as well!). Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut 500 grams of mushrooms into halves, arrange them in a single layer on a roasting tray and roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix three cloves of finely chopped garlic and one tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary with two tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of vinegar. Remove the mushrooms from the oven, pour away any liquid, then toss in the oil and herb mix. Return to the oven for 10-15 mins more until tender.
  3. While the mushrooms are roasting, prepare your rosemary roasted carrots. Having delicate, small carrots would be ideal, but regular carrots roughly cut into sticks works just as well. Peel and cut four carrots, then place in a small bowl along with one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until the carrots are covered. Set aside.
  4. Take the mushrooms out of the oven and set aside. They can be easily microwaved with no loss of flavour later (even days later!). For the roast potatoes, set the oven to 220°C. Cut eight medium-large potatoes into quarters. Boil until very tender (the fork should almost break the quarters apart). Drain, and shake the potatoes until the edges become fuzzy (this will make them pillow-soft on the inside while crunchy on the outside). Place onto two greased or lined baking trays, leaving enough room at the sides to add the carrots later. Roast for 20 minutes. Take the potatoes out of the oven, placing the prepared carrots as evenly as possible around the edges of the trays. Return to oven for around 10 minutes, adding seasoning as desired. Remove, and set the oven to its highest temperature.
  5. Prepare your Yorkshire puddings. Finding a simple vegan recipe proved to be my biggest hurdle, especially as I had no egg-replacer on hand. Happily, I found a great recipe that uses tofu.Melt a knob of solid white vegetable fat in a baking tin (I used vegetable oil in a muffin pan). While the pan is heating, combined one cup of white self-raising flour with one cup of wholemeal self-raising flour and a teaspoon of salt. Blend 100 grams of silken tofu with a cup of water. Gradually add the cup of soy milk and tofu mixture to the flour and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into piping hot tin and quickly return the pan to the oven. Bake for 20-25 mins, until golden brown on top.
  6. Final touches! When the Yorkshire puddings are almost done, return the baked vegetables and mushrooms to the oven, and the gravy to a medium heat on the stove. While everything is getting nice and hot, microwave your green vegetables of choice (I used brussels sprouts and peas). Serve with the gravy poured over the mushrooms and Yorkshire puddings.

Ingredients: 

  • 1kg potatoes of choice
  • 1 L vegetable stock
  • 500 grams mushrooms of choice
  • 6 medium sized carrots
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons white self-raising flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 2 onions
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • tomato puree
  • red wine vinegar
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • brown sugar
  • olive oil