The day has come: the day of the magnificent pie! I’ve always wanted to make one but have never tried – so Septofu seemed as good an excuse as any. And after having to put it off for a day yesterday I was super-keen to get started. The recipe itself comes courtesy of Jack Monroe, and if you want to try it yourself it is very easy to follow.
I started by putting a pan of lentils on to cook, leaving them to simmer away while I softened an onion in another big pan – and as that cooked down, I also put some dried mushrooms to soak in a jug of boiling water.
When the onion was glossy and soft I crushed in six (yes, six) cloves of garlic, gave it a good stir, and then took the pan off the heat before adding two tablespoons of flour and two of oil to make a chunky rough paste. Then the fun bit! (though a bit naughty given that we’re meant to be off the booze this month)… I had purchased a lovely bottle of strong brown ale, and little by little, splish by splosh, I added 250ml to the pan – mixing everything to combine between splashes. Each time it would fizz happily – and I very much enjoyed finishing off some of the leftover ale as I stirred!
Into the mix went two tablespoons of ketchup and a crumbled veggie stock cube, as well as diced carrot and mushrooms. Finally I added the rehydrated dried mushrooms, and turned the heat up to bring the mixture to the boil.
Back down to a simmer, tip in the lentils, and I finished with a splash more ale, a dash of lemon juice, pepper and salt – and a couple of big spoons of vegetarian gravy granules. Pie filling done! Alas, it was not yet pie o’clock – the filling had to be set aside to cool before it could go into the pastry, and in that time Jones arrived home from work – I had to be handy with my wooden spoon to stop the filling disappearing into his hungry mouth! But at least it received the Jones Seal of Approval – always a good sign.
In truth, I was glad Si was home as it meant he could advise on the pastry part of prep – something novice me found very handy! Happily, Jus-Rol pastry is vegan friendly and we had a packet tucked away in the freezer (well, by now it was sitting on the worktop, having defrosted all day). With Si’s help we made a very tasty looking pie crust – and goodness it smelled good when we spooned the now-cool filling into it. Pop on the lid, trim it around, glaze it with a little melted vegan spread, and into the oven it went.
Around 40 minutes later it emerged brown and beautiful, and we served it with mashed potato, peas and sweetcorn. Jack Monroe, I salute you: your recipe makes a seriously beautiful pie! The filling is rich and moreish and very filling, and the pastry was nice and thin (credit to Jones there). The combination of lentils and chewy mushrooms give it almost a (minced) steak and kidney feel. Best of all, there’s enough left for us each to have a slice for lunch tomorrow.
With the weather taking a turn for the cold recently, there really is nothing like a pie…
Today I ate/drank:
- Tea with almond milk
- Handful of peanuts
- Orange squash
- Leftover vegan paella
- Glass of chocolate oat milk
- Bishop’s Finger ale
- A sundried tomato and two olives
- Lentil, mushroom, and carrot pie with mash, sweetcorn, and peas
- Small glass of wine
- Packet of crisps