Georgeous, flavourful, earthy red beets replace the beef in this recipe. I want to pack it with flavour, lots of it while keeping some of the other traditional components. So, to the beet slices, I'm adding a mushroom duxelle made with four types of mushrooms (portobello, cremini, oyster and shitake) and toasted walnuts. This year, I made a great red onion relish which I will use in this recipe. It will add a deep, red wine caramelized onion "layer" to the Wellington. Here's the recipe to serve four:
2 large red beets (or one red and one golden) - about 2 lbs
4 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
8 oz mixed mushrooms (portobello, cremini, white, shitake, etc.) finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 dried)
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 dried)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped (or 1/2 an onion)
2/3 cup toasted, chopped walnut
2 tbsp vegetable broth (or water)
6 tbsp crumbled goat cheese (feta)
8 (18 x 14 inch) sheets of phyllo dough, thawed and divided
3 tbsp melted butter (or cooking spray)
8 tbsp red onion relish (recipe follows) or substitute2 tbsp red wine simmered with the mushrooms
1 large egg, beaten (if using cooking spray)
Preheat over to 400.
Pierce each beet with a fork; wrap in foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender; cool, then peel. Cut into eight slices (a mandoline will give you even slices, use a crinkle or waffle blade for great looking slices). Place beet slices (in separate bowls if using two colours of beets) in a bowl, add olive oil, salt and pepper (divide quantities between the two bowls if using two colours of beets). Toss gently.
Preheat oven to 375.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and the next four ingredients; saute 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add nuts, broth (or water) and wine (if using); cook 1 minute or until all the liquid evaporates. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl to let cool. Stir in the cheese.
Place one phyllo sheet on a large board (cover the remaining dough with a damp cloth to prevent drying); brush with butter (or spray cooking oil). Top with another sheet of phyllo, top with butter; press layers together. Arrange two slices of beet in the center of one short-edge of phyllo, leaving a four-inch border. Top with 1/3 cup of mushroom mixture, one tbsp of red onion relish and arrange two beet slices on the top (use the second colour of beets if you have two colours). Fold over the long edges to cover.
Starting at the short edge with 4-inch border, roll up jelly-roll fashion. Place the packets, seam side down on a baking sheet brushed with butter (or sprayed with cooking oil). If using cooking spray, brush with beaten egg.
Bake at 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until golden.
For the freezer: Place any wellingtons you won't be eating now onto a cookie sheet and place in freezer. Once they are frozen, place individually in freezer bags, let the air out, label and replace in the freezer. Cook from frozen in a preheated oven when you want to dazzle your friends!