Fitzy's Alternative Christmas Recipe
By Stephen Pickup (Head Chef  - Fitzy's at the Trapp)

Mushroom and chestnut wellington

Turkey, turkey and more turkey… the next few weeks we will consume more meat than any other time of the year. And while some people are happy to eat the curries, the sandwiches and the broths and dumplings which come with the big bird, others might be seeking out something a little more adventurous.

We’ve tasked our head chef, Stephen Pickup, to look into his recipe book and come up with an alternative to the traditional turkey, so here’s his vegetarian option:

What you’ll need:

2 packs of baby spinach

50g butter

1 tablesppon olive oil

2 leeks finely sliced

6 sprigs of thyme

2 cloves of garlic grated

700g chestnut mushrooms

200g chestnuts finely chopped

150g goats cheese

Flour for dusting

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons milk

Just roll puff pastry

How to make it:

·      Bring a pan of water up to the boil with a knob of butter and sprinkle of salt in, blanch your spinach for 1 minute then drain and refresh in cold water squeezing out as much water as possible (important)

·      Heat the butter and oil in a large pan, gently fry the leeks for 4-5 minutes until softened and caramelised , add thyme and grated garlic, fry for further 2 minutes then add all the mushrooms. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft then remove from heat and cool

·      Tip the cooled mix into a large bowl, mix through the cheese and the spinach and season generously. Lay cling film on a work surface and create a log shape out of the mixture and wrap. Tie both ends and chill in the fridge for an hour to an hour and a half

·      Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, dust the work surface with flour and roll the pastry out into approx 34x28 cm (rectangle). Lay your mushroom log, check for sizing, once the size is correct, whisk the egg and milk together, creating an egg-wash and brush your pastry, then carefully unwrap your mixture in the middle off the pastry then roll the pastry with the joint on the underside. Crimp the edges of the pastry with a fork ensuring all the air is pushed out and it’s nice and tight. Cut any trimming off and egg-wash all of the wellington, then place on a tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 35-40 mins until golden brown.

Stephen’s tip-leave to stand for 5 mins before carving to allow it to rest and firm up. Serve and enjoy!