I had a completely crapstick of a day at work today so once I got home I thought of a great way to Zen it all out with some cooking.
Pie. Pie was the answer!
As much as I love savoury pies, I’ve never actually attempted to make them at home. I usually have quite a fight with pastry when I make it for desserts though what I came up with today was really surprisingly easy.
Now, I don’t mean to float my own boat / blow my own trumpet etc etc, but these were flipping delicious!! Possibly the best vegan pies I’ve ever eaten!
Ahem, sorry, I’m just so impressed with this dinner! =P Adding the dried oregano to the pastry mix really made it a bit special too.
I have some really old cast iron pie dishes that have been in my family for yonks. If you find some old pie dishes in an op shop then I highly recommend you buy them. They’re brilliant!
If you have left over mushroom filling, it’s also really nice over some polenta
MUSHROOM FILLING INGREDIENTS
5 very large Portobello mushrooms, very roughly chopped
5 very large brown mushrooms, very roughly chopped
1 large brown onion, finely diced
2 cups “beef” stock (the Massel brand with no animal content)
1 Tablespoon nuttelex
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
Salt & pepper
MUSHROOM FILLING METHOD
In a large pot, heat a little olive oil and sweat off the onions.
Add the oregano and mushrooms, and Nuttelex. Give it all a good stir and let the mushrooms get all juicy (a lot of water comes out of the mushrooms – this is a good thing, a very good and delicious thing!).
Add the stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and allow it all to simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced. Season at this point to taste.
Allow the mixture to cool completely in the fridge.
PIE PASTRY INGREDIENTS
2 cups plain flour
½ cup Nuttelex
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
Pinch of salt
4 Tablespoons cold water
PIE PASTRY METHOD
In a large bowl, crumb together the flour and Nuttelex using your fingertips. Who am I kidding, use your whole hands – just get in there and make it all crumby!
Sprinkle in the salt and oregano once your bowl looks like it’s filled with breadcrumbs and slowly add the cold water, one Tablespoon at a time as you mix it through the dough. I don’t know why pastry is like this, but you may need more or less water so just play it by ear. Add enough water so that the dough is soft but not sticky with a nice elasticity.
Once you have kneeded the dough into a ball, roll it out on a floured surface and split it into three balls. Place the dough balls back into the big bowl, cover with glad wrap and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes.
Coat your pie dishes with some melted Nuttelex and set aside.
Once the dough has rested, roll out onto a floured surface until they’re about 3mm thick. Gently pick up the dough and drape over the pie dish, push in to line the middle then cut off the excess. Fill to the top with the mushroom mixture and press down gently but firmly. Place a layer of the dough over the top of the pie, pinch to the bottom pastry layer with your fingers to close the lid and use a knife to cut a cross in the middle of the top (this allows the pie to vent).
Repeat until all the pies are made.
Bake in a 180 degree oven for about half an hour.
8 spears asparagus, roughly chopped
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups torn mixed salad leaves
1 large tomato, finely sliced
1/3 cup smoked tofu, finely sliced
Drizzle balsamic vinegar
A little olive oil
In a large bowl, add the mixed leaves, tomato, smoked tofu. Set aside.
In a frypan, add a little olive oil and the garlic. Allow to sizzle for about a minute before adding the asparagus. Stir on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the asparagus is cooked though still a little crunchy.
Add the asparagus to the salad, give it a good mix and drizzle with the balsamic.