Serves 4-6 people
This is one of those recipes I always feel I should put together, yet never quite get around to making. That changed yesterday when my local supermarket had mushrooms on offer and I happened to have a can of green lentils sitting in the cupboard. Although I have made similar pies in the past using various forms of soya mince, this recipe contains no meat substitutes and has a depth of flavour that makes this pie truly comforting. Much of this depth comes from the addition of dried porcini mushrooms to accompany the fresh ones. With a few other well matched seasonings thrown in for good measure, this becomes a delicious and hearty pie for every occasion.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vitalite (or other vegan margarine of your choice)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick celery, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Pinch of sea salt
2 bay leaves
25 g ( 1 oz ) dried porcini mushrooms
500 ml ( 18 fl oz ) vegetable stock (I like to use Kallo)
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
125 ml ( 5 fl oz ) vegan red wine
400 g ( 14 oz ) button mushrooms, halved and cleaned
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
240 g ( 9 oz ) cooked green lentils, freshly cooked or canned (I use canned)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon English mustard (from a jar and not powder)
Vegan puff pastry (I use shop bought Jus-Roll)
Soya milk (To use as a wash on the pastry)
Begin by soaking the dried mushrooms in the hot vegetable stock, to which has been added the dried mixed herbs and black pepper.
Over a medium heat, heat the olive oil and margarine in a saucepan and fry the onion, carrot, celery and garlic with a pinch of salt and the 2 bay leaves. Cook for around 5-6 minutes until the vegetables have started to soften.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 F) or Gas Mark 6
Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil. When a boil has been achieved, reduce the heat slightly, add the mushrooms and stir constantly until the mushrooms have released their juices.
Once the mixture has become quite dry, but with a little liquid still in the bottom of the pan, stir in the flour. Add the stock containing the dried mushrooms and then add the lentils. Stir well and then add the mint and bring to a very gentle simmer so that the mixture is just bubbling. Try not to stir too much at this stage, but now and again to be sure the mixture is not catching on the base of the pan. Cook like this, uncovered, for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened but is not dry.
Finally, add the agave nectar, red wine vinegar and English mustard and cook for a final 5 minutes on a low heat.
Spoon the mixture into a pie dish or flan dish and allow to cool.
When cooled, top with a sheet of puff pastry, brush with soya milk and cook for 35-40 minutes or until cooked and golden.