I haven’t got round to much cooking or baking (or anything, for that matter) this week. I’m one of the many people this time of year fighting off a cold so it’s been mainly toast and hot toddies for me! But I didn’t want to miss out on making a pie for this week’s Great British Blogger’s Bake Off…
I chose something simple. A mushroom, chestnut and ale mixture topped with some shortcrust pastry. I’m sure puff pastry would have been great with it too but I didn’t fancy the effort of making it. The shortcrust was very quick and simple to make and I loved the flavour and texture of it too.
Originally, this was to be a steak and ale pie, but in the interest of being more frugal and unique, I chose something a bit different. The textures of the mushrooms and chestnuts mean you won’t miss the meat and the flavours are so comforting and autumnal.
The addition of ale is inspired by my friend Steve, who sent me some bottles of beer he made. I saved one to cook with because I knew the strong flavour would work well in a recipe, and it did. Cheers Steve!
- For the pastry:
- 100 g plain flour
- 55 g unsalted butter, or margerine if vegan
- Pinch of salt
- Approx 2 tbsp cold water
- For the filling:
- 1 tbsp garlic olive oil, or olive oil and chopped garlic
- 200 g chesnut mushrooms, sliced
- 200 g chestnuts, cooked and peeled
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 200 ml ale
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- Few sprigs of thyme and rosemary
- Salt and pepper
- To make the pastry by hand, mix the flour with the butter in a bowl, rubbing the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the salt and add water until a firm dough is formed. Or if you're lucky enough to own one, you can use a large food processor to mix the dough!
- Leave the dough, wrapped in cling film, in the fridge whilst you prepare the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 190c. and put a saucepan on medium heat on the hob with 1 tbsp garlic olive oil.
- Fry the onion for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Then add the mushrooms and chestnuts. Stir together and fry for 5 minutes. In the last minute, add the tbsp of flour and stir well until it dissolves.
- Add the ale, stock, seasoning and herbs. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally and adding more ale/stock/water if it begins to dry out.
- Meanwhile, take the dough out of the fridge and roll to about 3mm thick. Cut pie lids the same size and shape as your pie dish.
- Create an 'x' shape in the middle of the lid. This will make a hole in the lid to let steam out during the cooking. Decorate however else you wish!
- Spoon the mixture into your pie dish(es) and top with the pie lids, using a fork to press the edges of the lids around the dish.
- Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the tops turn golden brown.
- Serve with a glass of ale and enjoy!