Many years ago, around 200 or so years ago, actually, there was a battle. A really big battle, with soldiers, and cannons, and shooting , and lots of people getting shot. This battle took place in Europe, and it involved a few countries including France, and Great Britain.
France, lead by the evil genius French Emperor , Napoleon, and his cronies, fought Great Britain, and their cronies, lead by this Duke Wellington person.They fought at this place called Waterloo, and they fought hard. Or something.
Wellington and the Brits were victorious, and in doing so, he had this meat and pastry dish named after him. Or so goes the legend.
The truth of the matter is no one for sure really knows where the Wellington came from. Was it named after him, was it named after the type of boots he and his troops wore? Was it invented in New Zealand? No one really knows, but the story pervades to this day that it is named after the victorious Duke.
Napoleon had a dessert named after him, apparently, but that is a story for another time.
The Wellington, beef, or otherwise, is basically some dead animal wrapped in a puff pastry.If you watch enough Hell’s Kitchen, you know that professional jerk chef Gordon Ramsay is obsessed with them, and they often pop up on many cooking shows. I watch cooking shows, so I see this. Do not question me on this.
So, one day, a light bulb popped into my head, and I thought to myself, I could veganize this.Sure, why not? So, I did.
But, where does one begin? Oh, that is right. You will need puff pastry. Sure, they sell some vegan puff pastry, and if you are lucky you will find it, but what if you are as lucky as Napoleon at Waterloo? You have none to buy? Well, it is rather easy to make,so just make some.
This is a two day project, mainly waiting for important components to be ready, and some actual time preparing.It is no last minute meal, but the hard work is worth it.
Okay, let’s make some.
Puff Pastry Ingredients.
- 1 and a half cups of all purpose flour.
- 1/2 a cup of high gluten flour.
- 1/2 a cup of Earth Balance shortening.
- 3/4th a cup of Earth Balance butter. I used the sticks variety.
- 6 tablespoons of ice cold water.
- A few dashes of kosher salt.
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
I tend to prefer mixing in bowls, as I often say, often ignoring my pretty yet rarely used kitchenaid mixer. I know, I know, I just simply enjoy getting my hands messy for some reason. But, this time I did use it, and so you could, too. Or, just a bowl and mixer, or whatever.
I cut up the shortening and butter into tablespoon sized pieces, and put that with the flours in the mixer, and mixed that for a few minutes, then adding the ice water, salt and lemon juice, till it had made a sticky-ish dough.
Place a piece of parchment paper down on a flat surface, place the ball of dough on the parchment paper, and cover with another piece of parchment paper.
Okay, now roll out the dough till it is about 2 inches by 14.It should be relatively thin, though to be honest I did not measure it.So I will not give you an exact measurement.
Lightly flour another spot, nearby, and removing the top parchment paper, flip it onto the floured surface, and then remove the other parchment paper.
Cut the dough into a rectangle if it is not already in that shape, and fold it so it is now 14 inches long but only about 4-5 inches wide.
Now fold and roll it up till it is 4inches or so by 4 inches, or so.
Now, with a hand or roller, flatten the dough till it is about half an inch or so thick.Cover with plastic and let it cool it in the fridge. I would say at least an hour , or two, but I just let mine sit in the fridge overnight.
You have made the puff pastry for the Wellington, or for whatever else you wanna use it for.We can move on.
Now, I have to admit, I am no Wellington expert, and so I did some reading, here and there, and came up with one that would have a “Beef” and it would be wrapped in a ” Prosciutto” and Duxelles.
What the fuck are Duxelles? It is like a mushroom paste/pate.Or so I hear, as I thought the same fucking thing as you most likely did.
- 2 cups of mushrooms, bella, whatever.
- Half a cup of onions.
- 2 teaspoons of thyme.
- 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance butter.
- A few dashes of kosher salt.
- Teaspoon or two of ground pepper.
Stick the onions, mushrooms, thyme, balsamic vinegar , and one tablespoon of oil in a processor until it is finely chopped.Heat the remaining oil and butter in a pan, over medium heat, and add the mushroom mixture to the pan, and cook for about ten or so minutes, till most of the liquid is gone.Now, add the salt and pepper, stir, and place in a bow. You can leave this out, or place in fridge till you need it.
As for the Prosciutto, I came up with a fairly simply idea, and it worked out pretty well. You will need some of those vegan bacon bits.
- Half a cup of “bacon” bits.
- Enough water to barely cover the bacon bits in a small bowl.
- Half a cup of vital wheat gluten.
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
- 3 teaspoons of smoked paprika.
I soaked the bits in water over night, you should soak them for a good few hours in the very least.
Once again, in your trusty processor, pour in your bacon bits with the water, and try and break them down as much as possible, the smoother the puree the better.Now, add in the remaining ingredients, and use your processor as basically a mixer.
Place some parchment paper on a flat surface, placing the gluten mix on top, then covering with another piece of parchment paper, and roll and flatten out this mix till it is as flat as you can get it.It will not get as flat as real Prosciutto, but that is how life is. It will be fine.
Now we must make the center, the ” beef” part of the Wellington. I wanted something a bit more tender, so I added lentils.
” Beef” Ingredients.
- Half a cup of cooked lentils.
- 3/4s cup of vital wheat gluten.
- 1 tablespoon of steak sauce.
- 1 tablespoon of mimiccreme.
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- 2 teaspoons of onion powder.
- Few dashes of table salt.
- Few dashes of ground pepper.
- 2 teaspoons of molasses.
Process the cooked lentils till they are a puree, and then toss them in a bowl.Add all the remaining ingredients, and mix with your hands.Form into a thick sausage-like shape, then roll the prosciutto around it, trimming if you need to.Try and seal up the edges with your hands and a little bit of water, if need be.
Then, wrap in tinfoil. Make sure you wrap it tightly, as you do not wish for the seitan to grow too large when steaming. I even added some kitchen twine, so this would not happen.
bring a pot of water with your steamer to a good boil, medium or a bit lower heat, and add the tinfoil wrapped seitan.Steam for about 45 minutes, adding water when you need to.
You can unwrap it from the tinfoil, and pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
You have no made all the components, and it is now time to put it all together and cook it.Huzzah, yay, or whatever your general term of excitement is.
Now, if you wished to make your own “beef” recipes, or have some other ideas, you probably could have skipped to this part.Maybe I should have mentioned it. My bad!
Take your puff pastry out of the fridge, and lay it out flat on a surface. You will notice it is not as sticky as when you placed it in the fridge.Cool, huh?
Spoon duxelles onto the puff pastry, spreading it out thinly across its entire surface.Place the “beef” into the middle of the puff pastry, then proceed to roll the pastry, somewhat snugly around the “beef”. Pinch in the ends, and seal them, as well as sealing up the edge that runs along the entire rolled pastry.
Melt a few tablespoons of Earth Balance butter.Brush it entirely with the melted butter, and place it on a baking pan, edge side down.Slice a few slices into the top to allow steam to escape, and sprinkle some kosher salt on.
Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, or so, till the pastry is a nice golden brown.Remove from. oven and let it cool for about ten minutes, then slice up, and of course, eat.
This would be good with mashed potatoes, or roasted potatoes, I suppose. A good gravy would also be nice.But, that is your call, not mine. You can do whatever you want, especially if you went and spent the time making this for yourself. I guess.
I dunno about the Napoleon dessert, but I feel like as with Waterloo, Wellington got the better end of the stick this time, too.