James and I always celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve–I’m not sure why, but we do! On Christmas Day, we usually take a long hike and then sit outside by the outdoor wood stove and drink champagne and eat leftovers of the previous evening’s feast.
We always spend the day of Christmas Eve making our feast…which is always vegan tourtiere with all the fixin’s. As far as the vegan tourtiere goes, we tend to stick to a recipe for four or five years and then change the recipe up a bit.
This year is one of those changing-up years! I replaced the “meat” from our last version (black beans and quinoa) with seitan pork and TVP bacon bits. The result is absolutely scrumptious.
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) cubed peeled potatoes
- 225 grams chewy vegan bacon bits
- 500 grams seitan pork, shredded
- 2 cups (500 mL) sliced mushrooms
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) finely chopped celery
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 TBS Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base (mixed with the stock)
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried savory
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon or one small stick of cinnamon bark
- 1 vegan pie crust
In saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook potato until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and mash; set aside.
Meanwhile, brown onions, garlic, and celery in a non-stick pan for a few minutes.
Add mushrooms and sauté for a few more minutes.
Add stock, vegan bacon bits, shredded seitan pork, salt, pepper, savoury, thyme, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until almost no liquid remains, about 25 minutes. Discard bay leaf and cinnamon bark.
Mix in potatoes. Let cool.
Spoon into pastry. Brush pie rim with water; cover with top pastry and press edge to seal.
Cut steam vents in top. Bake at 400 F (200 C) until golden brown, about 45 – 50 minutes.
Serve with chutney and gravy. James used this recipe to make the gravy, and it was perfect!
We enjoyed our tourtiere with roasted potatoes, coleslaw, a freshly baked baguette and for dessert…TRIFLE!
My mother was famous for her trifle, which she would make for Christmas dinner every year, even after we stopped celebrating Christmas at my parents’ house. She made it in an enormous Wedgewood bowl that my grandmother found at a United Church bazaar. I always thought the bowl was hideously gorgeous, so my mum gave it to me when they gave up their big house. I did some research on the bowl and found that it was from 1865 and likely a second (note the imperfectly painted pedestal):
My mum adapted her trifle over the years–first, leaving out the booze when grandchildren started arriving, then switching from whipped cream to Cool Whip. In the last few years she made it with store-bought ladyfingers, frozen berries, instant vanilla pudding, and Cool Whip. Em always loved her trifle, so I decided to try making it for her this year when she eventually arrives at the end of the month. I did a practice trifle on Christmas Eve–just a half-size one, so I didn’t use the big Wedgewood bowl. We decided to make everything from scratch, so James made the sponge cake and I made vanilla custard. We used sherry and fresh fruit and whipped cream (which is why the recipe will not be reproduced here–it is definitely not vegan). In any event, the result was kind of disappointing–very heavy and stodgy, whereas my mum’s was always kind of refreshing. And even though we made a half-size trifle, we still barely made a dent in it! Ah well, live and learn!
And the song of the day is, as usual, our favourite Christmas song–The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York”: