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Mushroom Wellington - quick & easy meat-free recipe

Updated on December 4, 2014
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Mushroom Wellington - a quick and easy vegetarian recipe

When I was a kid, it was unusual for the man of the house to cook very often, but my dad had one lovely specialty, Beef Wellington. This was a long time ago and I can't remember the recipe at all but I do recall the crisp, flaky pastry, the sliced mushrooms marinated in booze and the lovely flavors. When I decided to eat a meat-free diet,

I didn't miss the meat at all but I still had fond memories of this dish. To make it today - I think my dad used brandy as well as the best quality steak - would cost a fortune but I developed a vegetarian recipe using portobello mushrooms, a delicious tomato pesto and red wine.

Despite this being the sort of meal that you can happily make for sophisticated guests, it's quick and easy to prepare. This makes it ideal for regular weekday meals too because it its simplicity.

When I make it for the two of us, I use regular Cheddar cheese because it's cheaper and it's an ingredient I always have in the fridge but to make this into an even more special dish, especially for high days and holidays, try substituting it for Stilton - that makes it even more luxurious. Served with a simple salad, this dish really takes some beating!

Photograph © BritFlorida.

Ingredients

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This will serve two

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 2 - 3 oz. Cheddar cheese, cut into slices
  • 1 slab frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • About a tablespoon red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato and garlic pesto - I use Sacla brand
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Salad to serve

Let's begin

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PREPARE THE PORTOBELLOS

You'll be broiling these so preheat the broiler to high. Clean the mushrooms gently - there's no need to peel them - and cut off the ends of the stalks. Fold them into a paper towel to dry them.

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PREPARE TO COOK THE MUSHROOMS

Place the portobellos in an oven proof dish. Pour the olive oil over them - both sides. If you have a pastry brush use it to make sure that the oil is well distributed. (I just use my fingers). Put the dish under the broiler - about 4 or 5 inches away from the heat is just about right - and cook them for two or three minutes, turn them and cook the undersides for the same amount of time. Remove the dish and heat the oven to 400°.

GET READY TO ROLL THE PASTRY

Lightly flour a large board or the countertop. If you don't have a rolling pin (I don't) use a clean jar or wine bottle.

ADD THE WINE

The mushrooms will now be sitting in a lovely mix of their liquor with beads of olive oil. With the undersides uppermost, pour the wine on the 'feathers' - see below. Put the dish back into the oven while you prepare the pastry.

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CREATE THE PASTRY SHAPES

You need four circles of pastry, two for each mushroom. As you can see, I use a bowl as a pastry cutter. Because my portobellos were different sizes, I used the bowl for the larger one and a mug for the smaller one. If I was serving this for a dinner party I'd buy portobellos that were the same size! Once you have these circles ready, remove the mushrooms from the oven.

ASSEMBLE

You'll need another oven dish now, one that is larger than the first. Do not put the first one into the dishwasher or sink. You are going to use the liquor later. It will probably have reduced to just a couple of teaspoons. Place two circles into the dish. Place a mushroom on each. Top with the tomato pesto. Add the slices of cheese.

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PEPPER / WINE LIQUOR

Take the 'dirty' dish that you used to broil the mushrooms. The liquid should have reduced to about two teaspoons. If it's less, add a little water. If it's more (which is unlikely) you can simply reduce it further in the microwave or in a small pan on the stove. Add freshly-ground black pepper and pour a teaspoon over each loaded portobello.

FINALIZE THE PIES

Add the other pastry circles on top. Crimp the edges with your finger and thumb to seal. Cut a slit on the top of each. This will let steam escape and keep the pastry crisp. If I was making several of these for a larger group of people, I would brush the tops with beaten egg. This gives the pastry a lovely golden glaze which is so attractive. When I'm cooking for the two of us, my frugal side can't justify the expense of an egg for the sake of prettiness!

BAKE

Place these in the oven. They will take about twenty minutes and are ready when the pastry is golden. While they are baking, pour yourself a glass of wine and leisurely prepare a quick salad.

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SALAD

This time, it was a quick salad of assorted leaves, sliced tomatoes and a lemon wedge each.

Serve!

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Further reading

Beef Wellington is a traditional and well known English dish. English cooking has been greatly maligned over the years thanks, I think, to two factors - Mrs Beeton and wartime rationing - but those are subjects I'll discuss elsewhere. Learn about the REAL British cuisine!

Great British Cooking: A Well-kept Secret
Great British Cooking: A Well-kept Secret

Yes, British cooking really is a well kept secret. When the jet age arrived and people from the USA started to visit in numbers, the well-fed Americans were unimpressed by our food.

The reason was that we still had food rationing in the Uk until 1954. Read about the real British cookery.

 

Today we have so many fabulous British chefs. You've probably seen them on television. See just one example below.

Jamie Oliver's Great Britain
Jamie Oliver's Great Britain

Jamie Oliver is typical of today's British chefs. He specialises in tasty and wholesome meals using fresh ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible.

He is also very concerned about ensuring that the food he prepares is healthy, inexpensive and planet-friendly. It doesn't get much better.

 

Try traditional British cuisine too.

Traditional British Cooking: Simple Recipes for Classic British Food
Traditional British Cooking: Simple Recipes for Classic British Food

The United Kingdom has a long history of fine food. In addition to the current crop of chefs,it's also interesting to read - and cook - traditional foods that have stood the test of time.

 

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 3 years ago

      Oh, this really, really sounds WONDERFUL! :) Excellent pix too! :)

    • profile image

      GEMNITYA5 3 years ago

      Mushroom-wellington really mouth watering(Also shared on Facebook :)~Blessings*GEM*

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SusanDeppner: And so delicious :)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Oh my goodness gracious. How wonderfully elegant!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Merrci: True! I hope you enjoy it - we love it.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      This looks fantastic with the gorgeous photos that feel like they are right in my kitchen. Definitely trying it. Nothing like Pie Week!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TheWritingnag: Please do - it's SO good :)

    • TheWritingnag profile image

      Writing Nag 3 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      This looks amazing! I will have to try it for my next dinner party.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @ThreeQuarters2Day: It is :) I tend to make this as a vegetarian Christmas dinner. It's quite posh really and great to serve at dinner parties.

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image

      Dawn Romine 4 years ago from Nebraska

      Anything with mushrooms is a go for me, I'll have to try this, sounds delicious

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Absolutely - but personally I like to add it :)

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      This looks so.....good!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Can you make this without the wine?

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @NickiGill: You're welcome! I hope you try it :)

    • NickiGill profile image

      NickiGill 4 years ago

      Oh YUMMO! My mouth is watering. Thank you for the recipe.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @DebMartin: Sorry :) I hope you try them!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      Oh my, that looks so good. And easy! Now you've made me very, very hungry.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Elsie Hagley: I hope you try it - it's very tasty and easy!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice, I like those big photos, made me want some for lunch.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @inagreement1 lm: It certainly is :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Thank you so much Tipi, I very much appreciate your support. Yes, they are absolutely delicious and do add 'meat' to a recipe. So much healthier than 'the real thing' too.

    • inagreement1 lm profile image

      inagreement1 lm 4 years ago

      wow yummy

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Portobellas are a winner when it comes for substituting for beef, even for us meat eaters....they are so good and their texture just a little chewy...perfect for this delightful recipe! My mouth started watering with the picture of the gills and it got only better from there, your pictures are so inviting....congratulations on your purple star and Good Veg feature...a great substitution!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @LiteraryMind: Oh I do hope so. It's a very delicious dish and for people who don't object to dairy, it's animal-free.

    • profile image

      ClaraSimmonds 4 years ago

      great lens,good job!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Glad to see an alternative to the original which uses the oh so cruel fois gras. I hope everyone will use your recipe instead.

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 4 years ago

      I love mushrooms! Inspiration right here!

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 4 years ago

      I love mushrooms! Inspiration right here!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Erin Mellor: Port is a lovely idea - thank you!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      Great adaptation. That could make a good veggie Christmas lunch if you used the Stilton and maybe switched the wine to Port to up the luxury level a tad.