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Best-ever cranberry & pistachio nut roast
main courses | serves 8–10
Nut roast is the vegetarian’s turkey; some crave something different but for others it’s not Christmas without one. Whether you’re a lover or a hater, this one is different: it has a flavoursome mushroom risotto base and sticky cranberries on top, a bit like a savoury upside-down cake. You can make the mixture the day before and keep in the fridge, just don’t add the eggs.
1. Make the risotto base first. Soak the dried porcini in a little boiling water. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add the celery and onion and cook for 10 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
2. Turn up the heat and add the rice. Cook for a minute or so until you hear it snap, crackle and pop, then add the wine and stir until absorbed.
3. Drain the porcini, sieve any grit from the liquid and add this to the risotto pan, stirring until absorbed. Finely chop the porcini and add to the pan.
4. Add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring each one in until it has been completely absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir as much as you can – this is what will make it creamy. Once the rice is al dente (when you break into a grain, it should be almost cooked through but still have a white fleck in the middle), transfer to a bowl to cool.
5. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Fry the wild mushrooms in a little olive oil over a medium heat for 5–10 minutes, until they are just starting to crisp. Bash the nuts into coarse pieces, or quickly pulse in a food processor.
6. Once the risotto has cooled, add all other ingredients except the sugar and cranberries, season, and mix well.
7. Butter a 20cm loaf tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Cook the sugar and the cranberries in a pan over a medium heat for 1–2 minutes, then tip into the tin and spread evenly. Pile on the nut-roast mixture and pack it down with the back of a spoon.
8. Cover the whole thing with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 15 minutes. Once it’s golden brown on top, remove the nut roast from the oven and leave to settle for 10 minutes.
9. Use a knife to loosen the tin, then place your serving platter or board on top. Cover your hand with a tea towel and courageously flip the whole lot over, then carefully lift the tin off. Serve with all the trimmings.
Recipe Anna Jones
Photo Jonathan Gregson
from Issue 24
ingredients• A small handful of dried porcini
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
• 2 red onions, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 150g risotto rice or pearl barley
• 100ml white wine
• 500ml hot vegetable stock
• 200g mixed wild mushrooms
• 100g pistachios, toasted
• 100g almonds, toasted
• A handful of breadcrumbs from sourdough or ciabatta
• 125g vegetarian cheddar, grated (omit to make vegan nut roast)
• 1 red chilli, finely chopped
• Grated zest of 1 lemon
• 2 eggs, beaten (omit to make vegan nut roast)
• 2 sprigs each of sage, rosemary and thyme, leaves picked and chopped
• 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
• 200g fresh cranberries