Monday, 28 April 2014


As I had a block of puff pastry leftover from my Appleretto Cinnamon Rolls and it was a Sunday I thought what better way to use it up than to make a nice mushroom and ale pie with some buttery mash and stuffing. Something different than your bog standard meat and two veg Sunday dinner and a true British classic. There are a lot of components to this recipe though so its best to do it when you have a lot of time to make it, ideal for the weekend if your lucky like me not to work them!

For me a pie must have a pastry base and a lid. Having just one is wrong in my eyes. There's no point having a puff pastry base as the filling is going to stop the pastry rising so this recipe uses a shortcrust base. Like the added almonds in the pastry of my bakewell tart, I give the pastry a savoury juzz by adding some thyme into the dough, it really complements the filling. If you are pressed for time though feel free to use shop bought pastry, my puff pastry certainly is. Making two types of pastry and a filling - ain't nobody got time for that!

Speaking of leftovers, my recipe uses onions, mushrooms and carrots but the good thing about a pie is that you can throw in any veg you like so this is great for using up the last of the weeks you might still have knocking around the kitchen. Chuck in whatever you like - go crazy!

You all know I'm veggie friendly but you can chuck in some steak to turn this into a yummy steak and ale pie to keep the carnivores happy. Simply brown the meat off and leave to one side before adding at the simmering stage. You'll have simmer the filling for a lot longer - 2 hours or so but by this time the steak should be nice and tender by the time it's ready to go in the pastry case.

So it's time to get cracking! Trust me, the end result after all the effort is so worth it!


For The Filling

1 Large Red Onion
1 Large Carrot
2 Grated Cloves Garlic
500g Roughly Chopped Mushrooms
1 Bottle Of Ale (Around 330ml)
200ml Vegetable Stock
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
Salt and Pepper To Season
1 Knob Butter

For Pastry Base

250g Plain Flour
 125g Cold Butter (Cut Into Cubes)
2 Medium Egg Yolks
Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme

For Pastry Lid

1 Sheet Puff Pastry
Flour For Dusting
1 Whole Egg

  1. Begin with the filling. Place the onions, carrots and garlic in an oiled pan on a medium heat and fry for around 5 minutes until the onions have started to soften.
  2. Add in the mushrooms and fry for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the ale, stock, tomato puree, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper and give everything  good mix together. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. After the 20 minutes add in the knob of butter and stir into the mix. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Take the filling off the heat and leave to one side to cool for a least an hour whilst you make your pastry base.
  6. Weigh out your flour in a bowl and then add the cubed butter With cold hands, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the thyme and mix it through the  crumbs
  7. Add in the egg yolks and bring the dough together with your hand. If the dough is not coming together properly add in a tbsp of cold water at a time until it does.
  8. Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
  9. After the 30 minutes is up take out your dough and roll it out so it's thin and big enough to fill the base and sides of your pie dish. Prick the pastry base with a fork a couple of times and then place back in the fridge for another 15 minutes. Keep any off cuts of pastry for decorating the pie lid later.
  10. After the 15 minutes your pie filling should of cooled. Take your pie base out of the fridge, remove the bay leaves and dollop in the pie filling. Spread the filling out right to the sides, level and leave to one side
  11. At this point, turn on your oven to 200 degrees (180 fan) to warm
  12. Time to whack out the lid. Take your puff pastry sheet and roll out on a floured so that it's big enough to cover the top of the pie. 
  13. Crack open the egg into a bowl and brush the edge of the pastry base before placing the lid on top. Keep the leftover egg for later Trim off any excess pastry from  the lid and press around the edge to seal the lid to the eggy rim on the base.
  14. If you had any excess shortcrust left make some fancy decorations and place on the top. I made some pretty leaves for mine. Proper lar-de-dar me!
  15. Cut a cross in the middle of the lid to let the steam out and brush the whole top with the remaining egg you used earlier. Place in oven for around 30 minutes or until the lid is a golden brown and puffed up.
Cut off a slab and serve with mash potato and sage and onion stuffing - it's a Sunday dinner. No need for fancy presentation today just get it on the plate and dive in

For perfect mash, boil for potatoes until soft and drain. Put the potatoes back in the pan and add a knob of butter and a swig of milk. Place the pan back on the heat and mash until lump free. Season with pepper and with a wooden spoon, beat the potatoes so they become light and fluffy.

The pie can serve six people, four hungry people or two hungry people over two days - second day food is always better! Just reheat in the oven for around 20 minutes.

That's the hard work done! Treat yourself to a glass of wine with your pie and mash!

You deserve it!

No comments:

Post a Comment