Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Cooking: Veggie Pie

Meow, so this weeks Christmas Cooking recipe blog post is going to be about a  Vegetarian Nut Roast Pie. This is mainly a big meal for a vegetarian instead of having turkey. Most vegetarians get passed off with the vegetables and the off cuts and feel left out on Christmas Day. So this recipe is from Lorraine Pascale but you could do individual ones like little mince pies which may be a bit easier to handle and better to experiment with different dried fruits within the pie but it is really up to you. There is going to be a lot of ingredients but the end result is really worth it!
Picture of the final product

Ingredients:
For the filling:
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Leeks, finely sliced
  • 4 Rosemary sprigs, picked
  • 6 thyme sprigs, finely chopped
  • 250g Chestnut Mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 5 Sage Leaves, roughly chopped
  • 600g Mixed Nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts etc)
  • 150g Gruyere (grated)
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 150g dried cranberries/dried fruit
  • 125g Frozen Cranberries
For the Pastry:
  • 100ml water
  • 80g butter
  • 125g plain flour, extra for dusting
  • 150g wholemeal flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 free range egg, 1 extra egg for glazing
For the gravy:
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • 1tsp tomato puree
  • 1tsp yeast extract
  • 1tbsp Plain Flour
  • Few Rosemary sprigs
  • 600ml Vegetable Stock
  • Pinch of brown sugar
  • Salt and black pepper
Method:
  • Preheat your oven to 200C/400F (for you American readers) or Gas Mark 6 and grease an 18cm or a 7 inch Springform tin... You should have one of these laying about if you've made a cake or a cheesecake before!
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan. Fry the leeks, rosemary and thyme until softened or if you want to be precise 4-5 minutes.. (Stop at 4:30 if you want to be very precise!) Add the garlic and cook for a minute as if you cook it for too long then it burns and gives everything a burnt taste and you don't want that...
  • Add the mushrooms and sage and cook for 2-3 minutes then remove from the heat and put it all into a large bowl and leave it to cool.. Take two tablespoons of the mixture and put into another bowl and leave it for the gravy for later on...
  • Toast the nuts for 8-10 minutes but be careful and check on them as nuts burn easily if left unattended.... (That sounds so wrong but its not meant to...) Remove from the oven and leave to cool
  • Blend the nuts in a processor or grind in a pestle and mortar until they are all a coarse powder and add it to the leek mixture with the cheese. Mix until well combined and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the eggs until well combined... I shall keep saying it when needed but you get the point of mixing until its all well combined...
  • For the pastry, heat the water and butter together in a small saucepan on a medium heat until the butter melts and the water is just boiling. It might not look great but it makes the pastry so its needed.
  • Mix the flours, salt and egg together in a bowl (its best to just cover the egg with a bit of flour just so it all combines easily) then add the butter-water mixture very quickly and mix it all together quickly until it literally becomes a dough... Shape into a ball and then stick it in the fridge for five minutes just so it cools and so its easier to manage.
  • Tear off about one fifth of the pastry and leave for later. then knead for around a minute.. Not very long.. Then roll the pastry out to around 5mm/a quarter of an inch thickness.
  • Flour the top of the dough, fold into four, and use it to line the tin. Put the folded dough into the tin with the pointed end towards the middle, then unfold the dough so that the excess pastry falls over the side (it will be quite fragile so just be careful). Ease the dough into the corners of the tin. If it tears, squeeze it back together again, this pastry is very forgiving like most pastry unless it is very very thin like Filo.
  • Trim the pastry hanging over the edge until you have around a 1cm border of pastry around the edge. Spoon half of the filling into the bowl (make sure to press it with a wooden spoon to make sure its fully in and compact. Put in the dried cranberries then the rest of the mixture making sure to press everything down.
  • Brush any pastry that is exposed with a beaten egg. Roll the pastry that you left earlier and using the bottom of the cake tin as a guide, cut out a circle with a 1cm border so it fits all the pastry in the tin
  • Put the lid on top of the pastry and squeeze and crimp it to ensure that its all together and to make it look pretty... This may take a bit of time... Cut a slit in the top of the pie to let any steam out and cook for 20-25 mins.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and carefully remove the tin. It will be very hot so be careful and if you've had a drink then try not to do this straight away... Slide the pie onto a baking tray and glaze the top and sides of the pie with the beaten egg, then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes (until golden brown as most chefs would say...)
  • Remove the pie from the oven, glaze the top again and top with the frozen cranberries. Return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes. This all sounds very tedious but its really worth it and the frozen cranberries on the top of the pie make it look festive and wonderful... You will have people oohing at this and maybe some meat eaters trying it...
  • For the gravy, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the mushroom and leek mixture that you left for the gravy then the tomato purée. Stir on a low heat for 2 minutes. Add the yeast extract, flour and rosemary then add the stock bit by bit. Bring to the boil then season with the usual salt and pepper (and brown sugar to give it a bit of sweetness...) Finally simmer it for 10-15 minutes then serve!
So, I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post! If you make this for any vegetarians in your family then do leave a comment and tell me how it goes.. I have no life especially at this time of year so I will read it and probably comment back! I hope to see you next time for the last Christmas Cooking post of the year. I hope to see you next time and don't forget to have a great Christmas!

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