It’s no secret that I love mushrooms, they’re my desert island ingredient but I’d be hoping to grow my own garlic, onions and herbs on this island too. Oh, and lentils as well. Lentils and mushrooms work so well together and anytime I’m having a special dinner at my place I usually make a dish that contains both. There’s something about the earthy colours and the wholesomeness that comes from this combo that almost turn omni’s blind to the fact that the table is free from any animal products. If you add some tasty pastry to the equation to make a pie then BINGO!
This recipe is inspired by a pie my Nan makes using meat. The whole family go crazy for one of “Nana’s Pies” and there was a time when I did too. I’m always trying to find ways to recreate the foods that I loved before I was enlightened and sure that’s why I started this blog. Here I’ve created something that, although different, is as enjoyable and packs so much flavour. If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter Dinner at your home then I don’t think your omni guests will be disappointed with this dish. Why not try it with some Dijon mustard mash.
What you’ll need for the pastry: Makes two pies
- 300g plain four
- 100g ground almonds (optional, you can use plain flour instead)
- 200g vegan margarine
- pinch of salt
- a little water for mixing
What you’ll need for the filling: Makes two pies with a little left over
- 300g green or brown lentils
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 stick of celery, rough bits trimmed and sliced into 1cm pieces
- 3 medium carrots, washed and diced into 0.5cm cubes
- 1 cup porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water
- 200g chestnut mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 tablespoon of marmite
- 1.5ltr of veg stock
- A splash of dark soy sauce (dark soy has less salt and adds a rich colour to the mix)
- A bouquet garni of 1 sprig of rosemary, 3 sprigs of thyme and two bay leaves. If you have some muslin wrap them up in it as the herbs tend to separate in the heat and you don’t want to bite into a sprig of rosemary in your pie.
Method for the pastry:
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl followed by the ground almonds and mix well. Take the vegan margarine from the fridge and cut it up into pieces. Add these to the flour.
- Using your fingers rub the margarine and the flour together until there are no more lumps of margarine left. You should be left with a crumbly texture.
- Add a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre of the bowl. Add some water to the middle, one tablespoon at a time, and mix with your hands to form a dough. You don’t need much water, just a few tablespoons.
- When the dough is cleaning up the excess flour from the edge of the bowl and the bowl is clean, lightly four a clean surface and turn out the pastry. Roll into a ball and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Method for the pie filling:
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large pot over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook until translucent before adding the garlic, continue to cook for another few minutes. Add the carrots and celery and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.
- In a separate pan or skillet add the remaining oil and heat over a medium heat before adding the mushrooms. Cook until all the moisture has evaporated.
- Pour the porcini water through a sieve and save the water. Remove the porcini and chop finely, add to the mushrooms. Heat through.
- Add the mushroom mix to the other pot followed by the lentils, stir well. Add the stock, herds and marmite and cook until lentils are tender but not soft, approx 30 minutes.
- To make the pie, preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly flour a clean surface. Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide into 4 pieces; 2 tops and 2 bottoms. Roll out each piece, rotating each time you roll to ensure a round shape. You want your pastry to be about 0.5cm thick.
- Grease the inside of a shallow pie tin with some vegan margarine. Roll one piece of pastry around your rolling pin and lift above the tray. Unroll the pastry onto the tray. Gently lift and drop the pastry into the corners and press it in, careful not to tear the pastry.
- When the lentil mix has cooled a little spoon it into the pie tray. Repeat the same process with the lid and seal the edges by pinching the top and bottom layers together. Trim the edges with a sharp knife.
Share and enjoy!