Please welcome our friend Phil Ogden, who has a most cunning recipe which you’ll thank him for when it comes to parties, Christmas, New Year, whatever … The veggies in his family clearly eat very well (this is a man who makes how own tempeh), so we’re going to ask if he’ll adopt us! Now over to Phil …
Here’s the final version, which is a bit different from the recipe I based it on! I had some of the tempeh mix left over so I did it as a burger as a test and was very impressed – the sort of thing where the mouth is still lit up with the flavours a good half hour after eating it! I was so impressed I made a second batch and baked it into sausages to be used in vegetarian sausage rolls, so much nicer than those cardboard cheese and onion ones from the supermarket!
300ml stuffing of your choice (volume measure ‘cos the weight depends on the stuffing!)
3 tbsp ground linseed
6 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp Montreal Steak spice (mix of onion flakes, garlic granules, black pepper and chilli flakes)
1 level tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
500g cooked black turtle beans (drained weight)
4 medium spring onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced, fried until golden and drained
300g grated mature cheddar cheese
Whole golden linseed or raw sesame seeds for garnish
Prepare the stuffing (I used packet sage and onion reinforced with chopped chestnuts and whole cranberry sauce). Form into a log about 20cm long, wrap tightly in cling-film and freeze solid.
Mix ground flax seeds with soy sauce and leave for ten minutes to thicken.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, line a baking tray with foil and lightly oil.
Crumble tempeh into a large bowl, Add paprika, steak spice, salt, and pepper, and mix gently to coat the tempeh. Add the black beans, spring onions, and garlic, and stir well. Add half the linseed/soy mix and stir well, add the remainder and stir again. Add the cheese but this time incorporate by hand, kneading the mixture until firm – squash enough beans to make this happen but don’t damage them more than necessary.
Put some cling-film onto a baking sheet or board and press the mixture down to make a 20cm square.
Top liberally with linseed or sesame, cover with more cling-film then flip the whole thing over using another baking sheet so the seeded side is now on the bottom. Remove the (now) top layer of cling-film.
Unwrap the frozen stuffing log and place in the middle of the square, use the base film to help pull up the tempeh and bean mixture to form a log around the stuffing – if you haven’t frozen the stuffing this will be difficult but it’s very easy if the stuffing is frozen solid.
If the stuffing contains ingredients that need serious cooking you’ll need to let it defrost before cooking; if it’s already been cooked you can go straight away.
Remove all cling-film before cooking and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until it’s golden.
It can be served after resting for ten minutes but another option is to let it cool completely, then slice (and freeze) the portions for reheating individually. It’s much more stable when it’s cold as the cheese will be set, cutting it whilst hot is more difficult but it does look spectacular when whole.
Notes: Instead of Montreal spice you could go for asian flavours and use a rice-based stuffing. Spicing the tempeh/bean mix and herbing the stuffing provides a good flavour contrast no matter what you use – spicing (or herbing) both layers differently just gives a confusing flavour profile. The stuffing log could be wrapped in some wilted spinach leaves before rolling for better visual impact.