Portobello Wellington

Portobello Wellington

Does it seem like I’m stuck in a wellington rut? Perhaps I am. I had thought about making eggplant wellington for Christmas Eve dinner with my family, but my dad doesn’t like eggplant (obviously he’s never tried eggplant everybody can love!) And it occurred to me that the steakiest of all vegetables has to be portobello mushrooms, and wouldn’t that suit a wellington! Yes, it did!

Apologies in advance if this seems garbled. I’ve got a boxing day haze all on my brain. But here is what I did…I cut the portobellos in thick slices, and cooked them in olive oil, white wine and balsamic till they were dark and crispy. I also roasted some white mushrooms with shallots, garlic and herbs to form the first layer on the pastry. And I cooked some big chard leaves until just tender to form the second layer. Then came some sharp cheese and then piles of portobellos.

I used paté brisée instead of puff pastry because I just didn’t have time to do it all! It worked out fine, I think. Crisp and flakey. And we had it with herbed walnut sauce, which I had added a bit of white wine to in the early stages.

Here’s Duke Ellington’s Toot Toot Tootie Toot from his Nutcracker Suite. Because Ellington rhymes with wellington, of course! Plus, it’s brilliant.

Mix yourself up a batch of paté brisée or puff pastry, and set it in the fridge till you’re ready to use it.

For the filling…

6 – 8 portobello mushrooms, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch slices
olive oil
white wine
balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. sage
1 t. rosemary, chopped
1/2 t. thyme
salt & black pepper

12 oz. white mushrooms, roasted in this manner

One bunch of chard, with largish leaves, if you can find it. Washed and drained, stems removed.

1/2 cup grated smoked cheese (if you like it! I think it goes well with mushrooms)
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar (or any kind of cheese you like!)

1 egg, beaten

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Toss in as many slices of portobello as you can fit in one layer. Fry till they release their juices, then till the pan dries out again. When that happens, add a dash of balsamic and a big slug of white wine. Continue to fry till they’re dark and crispy. They will smoke and smell sort of burny, and you will despair for the future of you pan. But it will all be okay! The mushrooms taste best when slightly charred, and your pan will clean much more easily than you might think!

portobellos

When the mushrooms are blackened on the tips and a lovely mahogany brown in the middle and crispy on the outside but still quite juicy inside, set them aside on a plate to await their fate, and cook the rest of the portobello slices in the same fashion. Season with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

Drop the chard into some boiling salted water and cook for about 5 minutes, till it’s wilted but still very bright green. Drain very very well…you don’t want it to be wet at all. I let it cool a bit in a colander, and then carefully separated the leaves and hung them over the side to dry, like laundry.

Set aside half the beaten egg. Mix the remaining bit in with your cheeses.

Take your dough out of the fridge. Roll it out into a big rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Maybe 16 by 18 inches?

Brush with half the beaten egg, then spread the roasted mushrooms in an even layer.

Then spread the chard leaves over in a nice even layer. I actually patted them completely dry with a paper towel at this point, because I was afraid they’d make the crust mushy (they didn’t!)

Next, spread an even layer of half the cheese/egg mixture. You can even it out by grating some fresh cheese over everything.

Pile your lovely portobello slices on top in a mound. Then top with the restof your egg/cheese mixture.

Pull the pastry over everything, overlapping about one inch, and pressing lightly to seal. Turn the whole thing over onto a baking sheet so that it lies on its seam. Press the edges down and crimp with a fork. Put a few fork holes in the top to let off steam. Brush it all with the remaining eggwash.

Cook in a preheated 425 degree oven for about half an hour, till it’s crispy and dark gold brown. Let it sit for 5 or ten minutes before you cut into it.

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3 thoughts on “Portobello Wellington

  1. Pingback: Eggplant Wellington | Out of the Ordinary

  2. Re. Eggplant Wellington look at what Gordon Ramsey does with eggplant at:

    Loved the music, I have the album but hadn’t played that cut in years, it was instantly recognisable.

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