Sunday, 10 August 2014

"3-3-2" PIE

Whats the name all about? Well it's quite simple. This delicious pie has 3 types of cheese, 3 types of mushrooms contained within two types of pastry. I maintain that a true pie should always have a pastry base and lid and I've covered my puff pastry lid with Parmesan whilst the filling is rich full of Cheddar and mozzarella which melts to go all beautifully gooey and stringy. Its such a comforting evening meal ideal for a rainy weekend when you just need something to warm your up from your head to your toes.

So first lets start with the first 3, the mushrooms. I chose oyster, shiitake and chestnut mushrooms. They are all quite woody in flavor so work really well together and the bite of the chestnut mushrooms really contrasts well with the more softer nature of the oyster and shiitake. See what you can find at your market, grocer or supermarket and  mix and match. It's your pie so find the best flavors for you. Don't worry though - if you can't find any fancy dancy mushrooms then just use 400g of any white mushrooms you can get hold of.

Next 3 is the cheese. There is a reason why I use the three cheeses in this recipe. First there is Cheddar which add the cheesy flavor to the filling. That's it's main function so this cheese can be changed for another cheese if you prefer the flavor of a more or less strong cheese. Next is mozzarella which I advice you don't swap as when it melts into the filling it makes the filling nice and oozy and thick which helps prevent it from being to thin and leaking through the pastry. Finally a sprinkling of Parmesan over the pastry lid gives it a beautiful golden colour and well as some additional crunch. Again, you can leave this off if you want or if you do replace it only use a light sprinkling as you don't 
want to stop the pastry lid from rising under
 the weight of the cheese.

Finally the 2, pastry. I've said it before but pie for me has to have a pastry base and lid. My base is shortcrust which I've added fresh thyme too for an extra burst of flavor and the lid is a beautifully crisp puff pasty lid with not just the Parmesan on top but a sprinkling of herby breadcrumbs too. I don't have the courage or patience to make my own puff pastry so I've cheated and bought shop bought. If you have the inclination to make your own then feel free, your a braver person than I am!

If you can find it, I strongly advise you use smoked garlic in the pie. I've only ever seen it sold in Morrison and it smells amazing and tastes so delicious. It works well with the mushrooms in the pie. Fear not if you can't find it, normal garlic will still give great flavor to your pie. 

If you prepare this from scratch it does take a bit of time and effort but the results at the end are worth it. Give it a go and you'll be in pie heaven.

"3-3-2" Pie"

For The Filling

1.5kg Potatoes (Diced Into Small Chunks)
1 Chopped Large Onion
50g Butter
5 Grated Smoked Garlic Cloves
100g Chopped Oyster Mushrooms
100g Chopped Shiitake Mushrooms
200g Chopped Chestnut Mushrooms
100ml Double Cream
Handful Chopped Fresh Parsley
200g Cheddar Cheese
125g Drained And Grated Mozzarella Ball
Salt And Pepper To Season

For The Pastry Base

250g Plain Flour
125g Cold Cubed Butter
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
2 Egg Yolks
Pinch Of Salt

For Pastry Lid

1 Sheet Puff Pastry
Flour For Dusting
1 Whole Egg
Handful Of Breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
50g Grated Parmesan
  1. Begin by boiling the potatoes in a large pan until you can stick a knife easily through them (about 15 minutes). Drain and leave to one side to cool.
  2. Next, start with the pastry. 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.
  3. Add in the egg yolks and bring the dough together with your hand. If the dough is not coming together properly add in atbsp of cold water at a time until it does.
  4. Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.
  5. 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 to chill again.
  6. Whilst the base chills start to prepare your filling. Add the butter and onions into a pan on a medium heat and fry until theonions begin to soften. Add in the garlic and mushrooms and fry further until the chestnut mushrooms have started to go soft.
  7. Pour in the cream with the parsley and stir everything together. Simmer for 1 minute before adding in the potatoes and cheese. Stir everything together until all the cheese has melted and the filling is thick and stringy. Leave to leave simmer for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally before removing from the heat. Set the filling to one side to coolcompletely.
  8. Turn on that oven of yours. Temperatures this time are 180 degrees (160 fan).
  9. Once the filling is cool, remove the base from the fridge and pour in the pie filling. Level out the filling and leave to one side.
  10. Take your puff pastry and place onto a floured surface. Roll it out until thin and big enough to cover all the pie filling. Carefully place the puff pastry over the top of the pie and cut a small hole in the centre of the lid to allow the steam to escape from the pie.
  11. In a bowl, break open your egg and give it a little whisk. Brush the egg over the top of the pastry lid so that it goes nice and golden when baked
  12. Next, mix together the breadcrumbs, thyme and Parmesan in another bowl and then sprinkle this over the pastry lid. Don't be too heavy handed or the weight of the crumbs will stop the puff pastry from rising.
  13. Place the pie in the oven and bake for around 30-35 minutes until the lid is golden brown and crispy in the centre you poke a knife into it.
Remove from the oven and the pie sit for a couple of minutes before cutting yourself a big slab for your tea. The filling should be beautifully thick and stringy from all the mozzarella and the puff pastry crispy and golden.

Serve with some roasted vegetables for a proper smoothing meal that's ideal for tucking into after a long stressful week.

Who could ask for anything more!

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