Here's a hearty vegetarian Sunday lunch centrepiece, Feta & Red Onion Marmalade Roly-Poly - a savoury take on the great British classic jam roly-poly.
Made from steamed suet pastry, roly-poly is designed to be stodgy, but in my book that makes the perfect receptacle to soak up plenty of gravy, served alongside a pile of roast potatoes and spring greens. Here, the red onions are slow-cooked with red wine, and encased with feta and spinach in a steamed walnut and lemon pastry.
The red onion marmalade can be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge, leaving just the pastry, assembly and steaming to do on the day.
Feta & Red Onion Marmalade Roly-Poly
For the Red Onion Marmalade:
- 25 g butter
- 500 g red onions peeled and finely sliced
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 100 ml red wine
For the pastry:
- 185 g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 75 g vegetable suet
- 30 g walnuts roughly chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- 100 ml milk
For the filling:
- 100 g feta cheese check it is vegetarian, some aren't
- Handful fresh spinach chopped
- For the marmalade: melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onions and cook over a gentle heat for 40 minutes or until completely collapsed and translucent. Add the wine and sugar, turn up the heat slightly and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Preheat your oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4.
- Make the pastry: combine the flour, baking powder, suet, walnuts and lemon zest in a large bowl, then add the milk and mix to combine into a sticky dough. Turn out onto a very well floured surface and pat and shape with your hands into a rectangle roughly 20cm x 30cm.
- Spoon the red onion marmalade over the pastry, leaving a border of about 1cm around the edges. Next, sprinkle over the chopped spinach and crumble over the feta.
- Now roll up the roly-poly from the short edge to the short edge, (ie. the roly-poly is about 20cm long). Press the ends together to seal the filling inside.
- Take a large square of baking parchment, butter it, and place the roly-poly in the middle. Now roll it up, but leave a generous pleat at the top to give the roly-poly room to expand during cooking. Tie each end with a piece of string. Now take a second piece of baking parchment and roll and tie the whole package once again, making sure to leave room for expansion.
- To steam the roly-poly, place it on a rack in a roasting tin (or I used a fairly deep grill pan), so that it is suspended a few centimetres above the bottom of the tray/tin. Place it in the oven, then pour boiling water into the bottom of the tin/tray (but don't let it touch the bottom of the roly-poly). Bake for about 45 minutes, until it is fat and cooked through.
- Slice and serve with plenty of gravy!