Make this vegan roast with cranberry sauce and gravy for the ultimate meat-free holiday main

Gaz Oakley’s meatless take on beef Wellington is worth building your whole feast around.

Gaz Oakley’s meatless take on beef Wellington is worth building your whole feast around

(Photo credit: Simon Smith and Peter O’Sullivan)

While turkey and ham are often lauded as the stars of holiday feasting, this vegan take on beef Wellington from Gaz Oakley’s cookbook Vegan Christmas may just be a roast to rival ‘em all. Wrapped in flaky puff pastry, filled with aromatic spices and drizzled with a fresh Cranberry and Orange Sauce, it’s a perfect offering for guests abstaining from meat and dairy, who still want to indulge in the festive flavours that make this season so darn delicious.

The Ultimate Christmas Roast

By Gaz Oakley

This is Christmas, all wrapped up... literally! The Christmassy flavours we all love are in this roast “beef” Wellington. It’s so succulent and flavoursome.


For the “beef”:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup peeled and cooked chestnuts
  • 1 cup cider, from a 2 cup (500 mL) bottle
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 ¼ cups vital wheat gluten
  • 3 tbsp chickpea (gram) flour

For the spice rub:

  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon

For roasting:

  • Remaining 1 cup cider
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Handful of fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp Cranberry and Orange Sauce (recipe below)
  • 320g block ready-made vegan puff pastry

For the glaze:

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

For the gravy:

  • 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 4 tbsp water

Cranberry and Orange Sauce:

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 Braeburn apple, grated
  • 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice


Make the “meat” dough. Heat the oil a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion, leek, garlic, seasoning, spices and herbs for 2–3 minutes.

Meanwhile put the cranberries, apricots and chestnuts into a blender and blitz until they’re all a similar size. Add these to the frying pan and sauté for 3–4 minutes until everything has softened.
Pour in the cider, stock and miso paste. Stir together and allow the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes before turning the heat off.

Combine the dry ingredients. Once the wet mixture has cooled slightly, mix with the dry ingredients. It should form a nice dough. If your mix is wet add a little more chickpea flour. Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Leave to rest.

Preheat your oven to 340°F. Combine the rub spices in a bowl. Shape the dough into a sausage 4” in diameter. Sprinkle the rub onto your work surface. Roll the dough in the rub.

Roll the dough in a piece of muslin (cheesecloth), twist the ends tightly, then tie each end with cook’s string to secure it. Place the wrapped dough into a deep baking tray together with the rest of the roasting ingredients and bake for 2 hours on the bottom shelf, turning over half way through to ensure it cooks evenly. Once baked, lift the roast out of the tray, reserving the roasting liquid, leave to cool slightly, then remove the muslin. At this point you can either chill it in the fridge for up to 3 days or continue. If you are not cooking now, make the gravy (below) and keep in the fridge, then reheat.

An hour before you want to serve, roll out your pastry into a tea towel-sized rectangle around ⅛” thick. Cut strips a third of the width of the pastry on each side, so you can cross them to make a lattice. Spread the cranberry and orange sauce over the roast, lift it into the centre of the pastry, wrap it up, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl, then brush over the top of the pastry. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden.

While the wellington is cooking, strain the roasting liquid from the baking tray through a sieve into a saucepan, pressing to squeeze out all the lovely juices. Place over a low heat and simmer for 10 minutes until you have a thick gravy. Mix the cornflour with the water and add it to the gravy whilst whisking until it thickens to your desired consistency. Remove the wellington from the oven, carve and serve with the rich gravy.

Cranberry and Orange Sauce:

To sterilize your jars, place them in a large saucepan filled with cold water, place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes then turn off the heat. Carefully remove the jars from the water when you’re ready to fill them.

Heat all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat with the lid on. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Remove the jars from the hot water, spoon the sauce into the hot jars and seal. The sauce will keep for 4 weeks in the fridge.

Excerpted from Vegan Christmas by Gaz Oakley. Photography © Simon Smith and Peter O’Sullivan. Excerpted by permission of Quadrille. All rights reserved.

Servings: Makes a 6 serving roast and 13 oz cranberry sauce


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