Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mole's Christmas Nut Roast

Here's my recipe for nut roast. I made it from a combination of a recipe I found and one of our own with suggestions from a chef friend. It's worked every time!

All ingredient measurements are 'ish'.

250g mixed nuts - nice oily ones, don't be a cheapskate.
Invest in some cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts if you can...plenty, and a good mix.
100g shallots, finely diced
A couple of carrots, also finely diced
Bread crumbs
400g tinned tomatoes (DRAIN OFF the juice - keep it for something else)
Sage, thyme, rosemary, lovage, any other savoury herbs you fancy
Parsley is optional - is quite a distinctive taste (I don't use it because I'm allergic to it)
Tablespoon of yeast extract blended with 1tsp boiling water
Black pepper, salt to taste (add at the end)
A little oil for greasing the pan

Toast all the nuts gently and carefully till browned, in a dry frying pan on medium heat. Leave to cool.

Cook down the onions and carrots in a little oil with there herbs till nice and soft (onions should be transparent).

While these are cooking, blitz the cooled nuts in a blender till they're broken up nicely, pretty ground up, but not powdered - you need texture.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Prepare a loaf tin by lining with greaseproof paper.

Put the nuts and cooked veg into a bowl and combine with the tomatoes, bread crumbs, the boiling water and yeast extract mixture and any further seasoning. Mix well.

Test the mixture for dryness - if it feels dry, add a little of the tomato juice at a time or boiled water (oil will come out of the nuts, so there's no need to add this).

When scoopy and a good stiff texture, put into the loaf tin and bake for at least 40 mins. Keep testing - it'll firm up but won't go too hard. If the top starts to burn, cover with foil and continue baking.

The loaf should be allowed to cool before attempting to slice. If you want it hot on the day, you can either gently re-heat the loaf or cut some slices (easier when cool) and warm those up. It's good fresh from the oven, but don't expect picture-perfect slices if you serve it this way! It'll come out a little more...idiosyncratic.


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