The only time I ever struggle to eat as a Vegetarian is when I go out. Whether it be something as simple as restaurants presuming that fish is eaten by Veggies, going to Subway and getting that irritated look when you ask the server to change their gloves, only to find they have been using the green handled knife to cut tuna mayo sandwiches or deciding to stop off for a quick snack on the way to a gig and you’re offered a pitiful selection of soggy cheese sandwiches on thick white bread. My point here is that anything Meat can do, Veggie food can do too and yes I may be biased but for the most part Veggie food does it better! I know lots of you really enjoyed my last recipe, so I thought I would share another quick one with you all.
For the pie:
- 2 Quorn fillets/Vegan equivalent (tofu perhaps?)
- Approx 100grams mushrooms (any kind and the weight really is negotiable)
- Half an onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 100ml Vegetable Stock (make sure this is Vegan/Veggie as some stock brands are a little sneaky)
- 150ml Soya Milk
- 50ml Soya Cream (if you are watching your weight, you can use more water, less milk and skip out on the cream)
- Roughly 6oz shortcrust OR Puff Pastry (Depending on how big your pie dish is, mine is roughly 8 inches)
- 1 tablespoon Soya Spread
- 1 tablespoon of Plain Flour (You can also use Gluten Free Flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon of Fresh or Dried Parsley
If you want to make Shortcrust Pastry:
- 3oz Soya Spread
- 6oz Plain Flour
- 5-10mls Water (Add water slowly until you have a stiff dough)
- Pinch of salt (Add a little sugar too if you want sweet pastry)
If you want to make a quick Shortcrust pastry, simply rub the spread into the butter, add the pinch of salt and slowly add the water until it forms a dough. You don’t want it too soft and sticky, I usually leave mine in the fridge for a little while after I’ve made it. I’m using Puff Pastry today because it needed using and had already defrosted, but you’ll see in the photo above there are two round bags near the front. One is diced frozen onion and the other some is Shortcrust Pastry that I threw in the freezer, you don’t need both for the recipe, it’s just to show you an example of the size I would use.
The first thing I usually do, whether I use Short or Puff pastry is line my pie dish and bake it in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. Be conscious that Puff Pastry … well … Puffs. That’s Okay, just pop a hole in the top and it should settle down by the time you come to fill the pie, I find it just stops the bottom of the pie from becoming a soggy mess. I’ve also left a little over the edges, just so it doesn’t shrink into the pan.
Whilst the pie base is cooling, I fry some onions, add my garlic clove (I buy frozen garlic which is much easier and once you have finished it up, you can fill it back up with crushes garlic cloves yourself and chuck it back into the freezer). Once the onions are soft, add the Quorn, or your replacement and mushrooms.
Scoop the mixture out onto a plate and turn the heat down low. If you haven’t made up your stock already, do it now and have it ready to go. I’m just using a Vegan stock cube in some boiling water.
Now we can make the roux, this is why you should ensure your pastry base is already out of the oven so you don’t get distracted and a) burn your pastry or b) ruin your roux. Add the Soya Spread and flour into the same pan you fried your mixture until it forms a smooth paste.
Very slowly begin to add your milk, it’s best to do this with a whisk, but I don’t have one so a spoon it is! Once this reaches a smooth consistency that is more liquid than paste, you can add your cream, parsley and stock. Bring to the boil slowly! Don’t just “give it a quick blast” as Brain’s likes to do.
Once it’s boiled, you should notice it has formed a thick sauce like consistency. Turn off the heat and add your mixture from the plate, mixing thoroughly.
Pour into your pie dish. I like to use a little bit of Soya Spread rather than egg just around the edge of the pie.
Top with the rest of your pastry (I didn’t measure my pastry here and ended up glueing two bits together, which is complete karma for using pre-rolled) and make a slit in the top. If you want to be adventurous you can make some little leaves for the top, but I was saving my scraps for later.
Place in the oven at approximately 180 degrees or Gas Mark 4. You can brush it with egg or milk if you so desire, but whenever I do that I end up with burnt pie, I think that’s mostly to do with the fact that I’m un-blessed with an electric oven which tries it’s hardest to ruin things for me. Cook until Pastry has risen and is a nice golden brown. Usually between 15-30 minutes depending on the temperament of your oven.
Take it out and serve – if you are only cooking for yourself then make these in some foil pie dishes and freeze them before putting them in the Oven, we only have a quarter each and save the rest for lunch the next day.
I hope you like this recipe – but the best part is still to come! The most exciting part about making pastry based dishes is the left over pastry. I made some little Strawberry and Cherry tarts, by slicing some fruit, throwing it into the left over corner strips of pastry, giving them a little sprinkling of brown sugar and putting in the Oven whilst I ate pie for 15-20 minutes at the same temperature. The best thing being that they are still warm after you’ve finished dinner, just in time for desert.
If you’ve made something similar recently I’d love to hear about it. Also, if you have any Vegan suggestions on the Chicken replacement then comment below!
Totally hellbent for “2 for 1″ meals