25 NOVEMB ER 2021 3 0 FOOD&DRINK Elly cooks This is an entirely plant-based Christmas menu, which can sit happily alongside a full festive spread if you’re also catering for omnivores. The pie filling can be made in advance and frozen in portions, then individual pot pies can be made for the exact number needed. The little pies won’t take up much room in a busy Christmas Day oven, but you could also heat the filling on the hob and serve in pie dishes with a pastry ‘lid’ on top (see my tip). The pies will be excellent with all the regular trimmings such as roast parsnips, braised red cabbage etc. However, it’s important not to serve vegans and vegetarians things like meaty gravy, potatoes cooked in goose fat and Brussels sprouts fried with bacon! I have included an easy vegan gravy here, some delicious and easy greens (add shredded sprouts to this mixture, if you like) and I promise you that potatoes roasted in olive oil are just as good as their goose-fat competitors! One last important thing to remember – bread sauce. For me, Christmas is not complete without it and, over the past few years, I’ve perfected a vegan version using oat milk, oat cream and vegan butter. Simple swaps like that mean that you can still serve up family favourites, while making sure everyone at the table feels included. @ellypear MORE GREAT OPTIONS For more festive plant-based recipes and ideas, visit waitrose.com/veganchristmas, and see in store and online for the new range of vegan Christmas products. Makes 6 Prepare 25 minutes Cook 2 hours 25 minutes 1 tbsp olive oil 2 medium onions, änely chopped 2 medium carrots, cut into 2cm pieces 2 stalks celery, änely chopped 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 30g plain åour 440ml can Guinness ½ swede, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces 2 x 400g cans Essential Lentils In Water, drained 180g Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts, roughly chopped 2 tbsp tomato purée 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 2 bay leaves 10 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped 2 tsp dark brown soft sugar Individual lentil, chestnut &Guinness pot pies These little pies are a great fit on the Christmas table. You can divide the finished filling into portions and make individual pies when required or even serve the filling as a stew, withmashed potato or colcannon 1L vegetable stock (made with 1 tbsp Marigold Vegan Bouillon and 1L boiling water) 2 x 320g Jus-Rol Puff Pastry Sheets (depending on pie dishes used) 2 tbsp plant-based milk alternative Wild cranberry sauce, to serve (optional) 1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan or åameproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and ½ tsp sea salt åakes. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft, stirring regularly. Add the åour, stir to coat, then cook, uncovered, for a few minutes, without stirring. Pour in the Guinness and scrape up any delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 2 Add the remaining ingredients (except the pastry, milk alternative and cranberry sauce) along with ½ tsp ground black pepper and 2 tsp sea salt åakes. Stir well, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced to a rich, thick sauce (this will take about 1 hour 30 minutes). You can now chill the älling (for up to 2 days) or freeze it (for up to 1 month) until you’re ready to make the pies. (Defrost in the fridge then remove 20 minutes before using.) 3 Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Divide the älling between 6 individual pie dishes (or just äll a number of pie dishes as required and freeze the remaining portions). Unroll the pastry and, using a small, sharp knife, cut out pastry lids that are slightly larger than your pie dishes. Decorate the lids, if desired, with pastry shapes, or use the tip of a sharp knife to gently score a pattern into the surface.