Sunday, 12 September 2010
A pocket full of rye
But not real blackbirds of course...
Many thanks to Andy for my new pie funnel - I absolutely love it! I've managed to twiddle my thumbs for a grand total of two weeks before using it to make this very satisfying vegetarian pie. I don't recall ever having a steak and ale pie but I like the idea of having a rich gravy bubbling underneath a crisp, golden puff pastry lid. And of course if you have pie, you must have mash and peas.
This is a hearty type of dish and the vegetables should be chunky and recognisable as what they are; this is not the time for refinement.
Mushroom, leek and ale pie
1 leek, halved lengthways and washed, then chopped into 3cm pieces
300g mixed mushrooms (I used 50/50 chestnut and small closed-cup mushrooms) cut into mouthful sized pieces
1 small carrot, cut into 1cm dice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp light olive oil
a few sprigs of chopped thyme
1 egg, beaten
250ml good vegetable stock, boiling hot and infused with a bay leaf and sprig of rosemary
1) Melt half the butter and oil in a large pan and gently sautee the leeks for a few minutes, then add the carrots and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes until the leeks are soft and translucent.
2) Pop this onto a plate and then heat the remaining butter and oil in the same pan, add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, or until they have lost a lot of their liquid content and look glossy. Now add the flour and thyme, still over a low heat, and stir into the mushrooms. After 30 seconds, add the ale and allow it to evaporate down to a tablespoon of liquid. Now remove the bay and rosemary from the stock then add the liquid to create a gravy.
3) Stir the carrots and leeks into the mushrooms and taste for seasoning. Now pour the whole lot into a deep ceramic oven dish about 15cm in diameter. There should be enough mixture to come right up to the top of the dish.
3) Brush a little egg wash around the rim of the dish, and roll out the puff pastry to 3mm to cover the top. Crimp the edges, and cut away any surplus pastry, leaving a little hanging over as it will shrink as it cooks. You'll either need an adorable pie funnel (added before the vegetables) or to cut a couple of slits in the middle of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Brush egg wash over the pastry and cook for 30 minutes at 375f/190c/gas mark 5 for 30 minutes.
Serve with some nice buttery mash and peas, a la London gastropub!