Food : Vegetarian Steak and Cheese Pie

Vegetarian Steak and Cheese Pie

15 years ago I had just come out the end of an arts degree and graduate diploma in social policy. I had worked in kitchens as a kitchen hand / dish pig through my degree and now was working days at Moore Wilsons. I was also at the end of 5 or so years of piscatarianism . However working in the foody realm of Moores made me yearn to cook meat. I came up with a recipe very similar to this to stave off the flesh consuming urges. The combo of lentils and mushrooms slow cooked in stock and beer was designed to mimic a meat filling process but ended up somewhere delicious of its own.  I once gave leftovers of this to a certain special person. You are more likely to get pie from me than roses.
This recipe has developed over the years, much like my waistline. It has gained goats cheese and a few more herbs. Anyway here it is.

400g fresh mushrooms , mixture of field brown and white buttons but no stress if all u have is one. Sliced.

20g dried porcini mushrooms *

3 onions roughly diced

2 tins of lentils

3 teaspoons minced garlic

2 handfulls of diced carrot, celery , onion/  mirepoix

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups Vegetable stock

500ml brown ale , old ale or mild strong bitter

150g goats cheese

1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

1 sprig of rosemary

2 bay leaf

Salt pepper

3 tablespoons cooking oils

One knob of butter

Frozen flaky pastry or go hard and make your own.

Place porcini in a small bowl , cover with veg stock.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed large frying pan ,  cast iron dutch oven or stock pot over a low heat.

Fry onions gently for 5 min , add mirepoix and garlic and fry  anouther 5min, add a pinch of salt if thing start to brown. You want the mixture translucent not caramelised.

Add mushrooms and the knob of butter, fry for 2 or 3 min.

Add the porcini mushrooms and soaking liquor to the pan along with tomato paste , and herbs .

Fry another min then add remaining stock , ale , and drained lentils.

Cook covered over a low heat for an hour or so. Uncover and reduce until thick. Season to taste .

Allow mixture to cool a little. If you are super prepared cool fully refrigerate and make the pie the next day. If not just cool enough so it doesn’t mess with your pastry.

Fish out the bay leaf and rosemary .

Pour into a pie dish. Crumble the goats cheese over and cover with pastry.

Bake in 180c oven until pastry is golden. Serve with boiled peas or green beans.

* when I made this for the photos all I could get was dried straw mushrooms which are not the same thing. It still came out delicious.


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