Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mushroom, Stilton and Ale Pie with Thyme Pastry

This Easter I had my brothers over for a roast dinner and while I had nut roast, I cooked them and Mr Hef beef. This was hard because, I don't particularly like cooking meat and I'm also not very good at it. My older brother is a chef and has literally walked in to the kitchen when I was cooking beef before, tried a little bit, told me it was tough as old boots and left again. This time it turned out a lot better, but that was probably because my brother took over half way through! Anyway, because I really don't understand meat (it takes me about an hour and a lot of googling to decide what to buy) I managed to buy a huge piece, so there was loads left over. I really didn't want to waste it so Mr Hef is eating beef for the rest of the week. The first left over dish was beef, stilton and ale pie, so it made sense that my veggie version was a mushroom pie. Mushrooms don't feature much on here and that is quite simply because I think they're really gross. I try to make myself like them and since going to Demuths Cookery School, I've learnt how to cook them properly which helps. The flavours were so yummy that I kind of forgot I was even eating mushrooms. I made pastry from scratch for this because it's really simple and tastes so much better, but you can use ready made for a quicker recipe. The best part about making pies (apart from getting to eat them after) is that you can make little pastry decorations, mine had little mushrooms and and Mr Hefs had little willes on, because I couldn't make a cow and that seemed like the next best thing.

Serves 2 (I made 2 small pies):

For the thyme pastry

200g plain flour
100g cold butter, chopped in to chunks
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 pinch of salt
4-6 tbsp of cold water
1 egg (for egg washing if you wish)

For the filling

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
300g mushrooms of your choice, stalks removed and chopped in to large chunks
1 pinch and pepper
100ml vegetarian ale
100ml vegetable stock
100g vegetarian stilton

1. Start with the pastry. Tip the flour in to a bowl and add the chunks of butter and rub between your finger tips until you get a bread crumb texture, add the salt, thyme and water and mix in to form a ball (I usually stick my hands in at this point, it's much easier).
2. Wrap the pastry ball in cling film and pop it in to the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
3. Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees and get started on the filling.
4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add the onion and garlic, cooking on a medium heat until the onions turn translucent, then add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and turn up the heat.
5. Keep cooking the mushrooms, stirring regularly, until they have sweated out all of the moisture and have started to brown, then add the ale and keep cooking on a high heat until all of the ale has been absorbed/cooked off.
6. Add the vegetable stock and cook until the stock has thickened and you have a nice thick gravy. Then switch off the heat and pop to one side.
7. Get your pastry from the fridge and chop off a third for the top of the pie, roll out the rest of the pastry and line your tin/tins.
8. Chop up the stilton and add it to the filling, then pour in to the pastry in the dish. The roll out the rest of the pastry and use it to top the pie. Cut the rough sides off and use it to make decorations if you wish.  Beat the egg and brush it over the top of the pie.
9. Pop into the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until its golden brown on the top.
10. Serve up with season veg and mash and enjoy!


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