Main Course: Kentish spinach and mushroom Wellington with mash, carrots and vegetable gravy

Lauren Harker

Lauren Harker from Maidstone Grammar School for Girls in Maidstone 2018 finalist

While on holiday this year I went out to a restaurant and I ordered a dish similar to this and I found it really delicious, and since then I have been wanting to recreate it. This competition inspired me to try to create a dish as close to what I ate then as possible, and I think that this recipe is really nice!

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Make the rough puff pastry by loosely ribbing the butter into the flour. Add the water gradually until the pastry comes together. You should be able to see streaks of butter. Put in the fridge to chill.
Chop the sweet potaton into small chunks and put on a baking tray with rosemary, thyme and olve oil. Cook for 20 minutes or until soft when pierced with a knife.
Chop the red onion and fry with olive oil and salt and pepper. While this is cooking cut up the chestnuts into small pieces.
When the onion is soft, add the chestnuts. Tear the bread loosely into chunks and add to the pan along with the lemon zest. Allow this to cook for about 4 minutes then remove from the heat.
Melt butter in a pan. In the meantime, chop up the mushrooms and garlic finely.
Add the mushrooms, garlic and lemon juice to the pan. While this cooks, boil the kettle for the kae and the spinach.
When the mushroom start to go soft, remive from the heat. Add the boiling water to the same pan, keeping the heat on. Add the kale, boil for two minutes, then add the spinach and boil for a further two minutes. Finally, drain the mixture and cook for another minute.
Add pine nuts, olive oil and salt and pepper to the kale and spinach and mix well. Add this to the mixture of bread, chestnuts and onion and mix again.
Take the sweet potato out of the oven and add to the kale, spinach, chestnut and onion mixture. Mix to combine.
Put the mushroom mixture into the blender and blitz until relatively small- leave some small chunks.
Now assemble the wellington. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out thinly. Put a bowl on the pastry and cut around this to get a circle shape. Lift this onto a lined baking tray.
Spread the mushroom mixture over the pastry circle, leaving a gap round the edges. Put the spinach, kale, onion and sweet potato mixture on top. Finally, roll out the remaining pastry into a roughly circular shape and lay over the top. Brush with egg, poke in steam holes and put in the oven for roughly 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Start preparing the potatoes by chopping the potato into small chunks, placing in a pan and covering with cold water. Turn on the heat, put the lid on the saucepan and boil until the potato is soft.
For the vegetable gravy, chop the celery, carrot and onion and fry in butter, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf. When brown, sprinkle the sugar over the top and caramelise. Add the sugar, flour, tomato puree and vinegar. While this cooks, make up the stock, then pour over the top. Leave to thicken for a few minutes.
Chop up the carrot julienne and boil for 10 minutes.
Blitz the gravy in the blender until smooth. Push through a sieve to remove lumps.
Drain the potatoes and mash up with the butter, milk and salt and pepper.
Drain the carrots.
On a plate, place down the carrots and mashed potato. Put the gravy into a jug and place on the side. Place the wellington on the plate.

Ingredients

Main Course: Kentish spinach and mushroom Wellington with mash, carrots and vegetable gravy
Pastry: 124 g butter, 124g plain flour, 74ml water
Wellington filling: 1 sweet potato, olive oil, rosemary and thyme, 1 red onion, 50g chestnuts, 1 slice bread, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 20g butter, 124g mushrooms, 1 garlic clove, 100g kale, 100g spinach, 30g pinenuts, salt and pepper, ½ egg to brush over the top.
Mash: 2 potatoes, small amount of butter and milk, salt and pepper
Vegetable gravy: 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stick, bay leaf, thyme, 20g butter, 1/2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp. plain flour, 2 tsp tomato puree, 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 stock cube, 500ml water
Vegetables: 2 carrots

herbs, spinach, carrots all home-grown.