Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180C / 350f. Start by preparing the squash and carrots. Remove the skin and seeds of the squash, and chop into small 2cm cubes. Chop the carrot into 2cm cubes and add both to a large roasting tray. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle over the herbs. Season well with salt and pepper, and place in the oven for 45 minutes, or until soft.
Whilst the squash and carrots are roasting, peel and quarter the onions. Blitz in a food processor, then fry gently over a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the black garlic paste, umami paste and smoked paprika.
Next, blitz the chestnuts, cashews and walnuts in the food processor, retaining some texture. Stir in the panko breadcrumbs and season well.
Once the squash and carrots are soft, removed from the oven mash roughly. Stir into the onion mix, then add to the nut and breadcrumbs until well combined.
Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper, then scrape the mix into the tin, reserving a couple of tablespoons. Press the mix gently into the tin, then sprinkle over the reserved mix. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 50 minutes. At this time, remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until crispy on top.
To make the onion gravy, finely slice the red onions. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan over a very low heat, softening the onions slowly for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After this time, add the smoked garlic paste and cook for another couple of minutes.
Next, turn the heat to high and add the sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook on high for a few minutes until the liquid reduces, then stir through the cornflour to thicken. Add the tomato paste, soy sauce, sage and stock, and cook for a further 5 minutes on a medium heat until rich and jammy.
To serve, slice the loaf and drizzle with generous spoonful's of the onion gravy.
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