Leek and Mushroom Pie (National Vegetarian Week)

A few years ago, my sister adopted a vegetarian diet. After over 20 years of being a meat eater she took the plunge and went straight in, cold turkey, or should I say, cold tofu. A while back I asked her if there was anything she really missed since cutting out meat; if there was anything she’d had before that she couldn’t find a replacement for. Her answer was this – ‘A really good pie.’

It appears that, in her opinion, the only thing missing from her stomach, was the humble, rustic and satisfying: Pie and Mash. And after much trial and error, and some very honest taste tests. The Leek and Mushroom pie was born. Now hopefully, it might fill a void for you too.

Leek and Mushroom Pie – (this can also be made vegan if using Jus Roll pre made pastry as all their products have a vegetable oil base and are suitable for vegans; and brush with water instead of egg)

  • 2 leeks
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 75g dried wild mushrooms
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms
  • Half a butternut squash/1 large sweet potato
  • 100g spinach leaves
  • 1.5 litres of veg stock
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • sprig of thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 300g home made or shop bought shortcrust pastry (plus a small amount of plain flour)
  • 1 egg, beaten (for glazing, or water alternatively)
  • as with all my other recipes, feel free to add in any other veg to this, courgette, carrot or green peas work nicely in this mix

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Pour hot water over the dried mushrooms in a bowl and allow to soak.

Finely dice the onion, and chop the garlic. In a large pan, soften them in a little oil over a gentle heat. Finely slice the leek and add to the pot, stirring occasionally. Allow to soften.

Peel and deseed the butternut squash/sweet potato and cut in to chunks. Add to the pot with the other vegetables and cook for a few minutes.

Slice the mushrooms and fry in a small amount of oil in a separate pan to the other ingredients. When coloured and crisp on each side, remove from the pan and sit on some kitchen paper to drain some of the excess oil.

Pour the stock over the leek, onion and squash mix and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and leave to reduce. Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the water (it will have turned a dark grey colour) and add the water to the pan, along with the sprig of thyme. Season everything generously and stir occasionally, allowing the stock to reduce and the vegetables to stew. Once the filling mix has reduced by 1/4-1/3, stir through the spinach leaves and parsley. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Roll out the pastry and line the base of a pie tin. Sprinkle a little plain flour over the base of the pastry (optional). Roll out the lid and get the beaten egg and a pastry brush ready.  Ladle the filling to the pastry lined base, removing the thyme sprig. Scatter over the already fried mushrooms and wild mushrooms.

Brush egg wash over the edge of the pastry and lay the pastry lid over the top, crimp the edges with a fork and brush the entire surface with egg wash. Cut either a few holes, or a pattern in to the pastry lid as this will be where the steam produced from the filling escapes, allowing the pastry to crisp.

Bake for 30-40 mins until golden and shiny. Best served with mashed potatoes.

Enjoy!

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