Great British Bake Off’s north-east star Norman Calder presents his fourth video with the Press and Journal in association with Laing’s of Inverurie.
The retired Merchant Navy radio officer from Buckie, won the hearts of millions of viewers with his unassuming manner and rustic cooking style when he appeared on the BBC phenomenon.
The 67-year-old, who has been dubbed “Stormin’ Norman”, said he nearly backed out of the show after applying. But his excited family left him with no choice but to go through with it.
Now, in an exclusive video series filmed for the Press and Journal website, Norman is using the luxury cooking equipment and kitchens of Laing’s of Inverurie, leader in the design, supply and installation of luxury kitchens for over 20 years, to teach burgeoning bakers new tricks.
This month it’s his nut roast wellington… and it looks amazing.
Nut Roast Mixture:
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
200g whole mixed nuts
175g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
75g mature cheddar, grated
200ml vegetable stock
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp Marmite
1 tsp dried oregano
25g dried cranberries
250g chestnut mushrooms, very finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
few fresh thyme leaves
500g pack of ready-rolled puff pastry or make your own recipe
1 egg, beaten
For the Mushroom Duxelles:
Sweat the mushrooms, thyme and chopped shallot in the butter over a very low heat until all the liquid has evaporated and you are left with an almost dry mushroom pate. Set aside to cool.
For the Nut Roast:
Sauté the chopped onion in the olive oil until golden and set aside to cool.
Grind the nuts in a food processor until reasonably fine, but still with some texture. Place the ground nuts in a large bowl; add the breadcrumbs, grated cheddar, oregano and cooled onion; mix well. (At this point you can put it in the fridge and finish it on day, if you want.) Whisk the stock together with the beaten egg and Marmite; add this to the bowl and mix with a fork until the mixture starts to hold together. Remove about 1/3 of the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the dried cranberries.
Assembling the Wellington:
Unroll the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll lightly with a rolling pin to make it a bit larger. You need to make it approximately 12″ x 10″ but check the size of your Wellington and make sure there is enough pastry to enclose it completely.
Put the nut roast mixture with cranberries in the centre of the pastry and form into a rough rectangle about 8″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″. Spread the mushrooms duxelles over the top, then cover with the remaining nut roast mixture…..OR as I sometimes do…… Mould the wellington and chill before wrapping in pastry. Make a rectangle around 1″ high with the cranberry mix, cover with the duxelle then the main part of the nut roast (this is it upside down. ) This makes a nice squared rectangular shape. You should end up with the Nut Roast Mixture, The Mushroom Duxelles and on top the Nut Roast and Cranberry mix. Chill.
Place the nut roast upside down on your pastry sheet. Fold the edges of the pastry over like a parcel, to completely enclose the nut roast, using the beaten egg to seal all the edges. You may need to cut off a bit of the pastry to avoid the seams being too thick. Decorate with shapes from the remaining pastry. Brush with beaten egg and finish off the top with sea salt and dried oregano.
Tip: If you want a very even glaze pass your beaten egg through a sieve before using and add 1 tsp water with a pinch salt. This gets rid of the chakalaka – the membrane which links the yolk and white so giving a smoother, more even glaze. In some parts of the country the chakalaka is known as the chalaza. In South Africa however the chakalaka is a spicy vegetable dish.
Line a shallow baking tray with non-stick baking paper and, very carefully, turn the Wellington over and lay it, seam-side down, on the baking tray. Brush all over with the rest of the beaten egg and bake at 210C for 20 minutes then turn the temperature down to 180C and cook for a further 35-40 minutes until deep golden brown and cooked through. (I have a fan oven so you may need to adjust timings or temperatures a bit).
Rest for 20 minutes before serving.
For gravy, fry an onion and stir in 2 tbsps flour then add 250ml red wine then some vegetable stock reduce a bit. Pass through a sieve then continue to reduce the gravy.
Once gravy is as thick as you require add some redcurrant jelly to taste.