A to Z Recipes

Chestnut Sage and Red Wine Loaf
This is a great vegetarian Christmas alternative to turkey. Serves 6.

INGREDIENTS: Butter and dried breadcrumbs - for lining the loaf tin, Dried chestnuts - 350 g (12 oz) or 1 kg (2 lb) fresh chestnuts, Butter - 50 g (2 oz), Onion - 1 large; chopped, Celery - 2 sticks finely chopped, Garlic cloves - 2 crushed, Fresh sage - 2 tbsp chopped + 1 leaf to garnish, Red wine - 1 tbsp, Egg - 1.

COOKING: 1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4. Prepare a 450 g (1 lb) loaf tin by lining the base and narrow sides with a long strip of silicon paper; brush well with butter and sprinkle lightly with dried breadcrumbs.
2. For dried chestnuts: Cover with boiling water then leave to soak for at least 2 hours. Simmer in plenty of water for about 1 hours until tender.
3. For fresh chestnuts: Nick each with a knife then simmer in plenty of water for about 10 minutes until the cuts open. Take the chestnuts from the water one by one and strip off the skins with a sharp, pointed knife. Put the skinned chestnuts in a saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender.
4. Drain and mash the chestnuts. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion and celery for 10 minutes, without browning. Add the chestnuts, garlic, sage, wine and egg and mix together.
5. Lay the sage leaf in the base of the prepared loaf tin, spoon the chestnut mixture on top, smooth over the surface and cover with a piece of foil. Bake the loaf for 1 hour.