We Have Pies for Dinner???

Aaahhhhh…Pies….

What’s not to love?

There’s a crisp shortcrust shell holding the filling of your choice which is then covered in a buttery flaky pastry and baked to perfection. My mouth waters at the thought.

The task is to get a meatless pie filling that will satisfy a meat eater as well as a vegetarian and as they say “mushrooms are the meat for vegetarians”, and so began the hunt for the perfect mushroom pie recipe.

A little from this recipe and a little from that recipe and according to my husband we have a winner…

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Mushroom, Red Wine and Onion Pie

This is my big batch so some get eaten for dinner now and the rest get frozen for another time.

You’ll need a couple of sheet of Puff Pastry for the top.

For the shortcrust pastry:

600g plain flour

300g salted butter – cubed

1 egg yolk

6-8 Tblsp cold water

Rub the butter into the flour until it’s a breadcrumb consistency. A few little lumps of butter are okay. Mix the water and egg yolk together and add to the flour. Mix it all together until you get a ball then flatten into a circle, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge while you get the filling ready.

For the Onion Filling:

4 Tblsp olive oil

700 g onion – diced (whatever size you like)

1 Tblsp thyme leaves

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup balsamic

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large fry pan or saucepan and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium high heat for 12 – 15 minutes or until the onions are soft and starting to brown.

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Stir in the thyme, sugar, salt, pepper and balsamic and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 – 12 minutes until the vinegar is absorbed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.  Set aside to cool.

For the Mushroom Filling:

100 g salted butter

1 Tblsp olive oil

1 kg mushroom (I love Portobello or Swiss browns for this) thickly sliced

2 Tblsp thyme leaves

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp smokey paprika

3 Tblsp plain flour

150 ml red wine (I used some left over Merlot)

100 ml water or veg. stock

200 g crushed tomato or passata

Heat the oil and butter in a wide based saucepan then add the mushrooms. Stir over medium high heat until the mushrooms are starting to brown, about 10 – 12 minutes.

Add the thyme, salt, pepper, paprika and flour and stir for a minute to cook the flour a little then add the red wine, water or stock and tomato. Give it a good stir and let it cook for a few minutes , stirring often, until it’s all thick and glossy and yummy. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

I managed to get 10 single serve pies out of this batch but you can make mini pies or larger family sized pies.

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Roll out the shortcrust pastry to cover the base and sides of your pie tins then put back in the fridge for about 15 minutes. (This helps minimise pastry shrinkage)

Blind bake pastry cases for about 20 minutes (place a sheet of baking paper over the pastry and add some dried beans or rice). Remove the paper and beans.

Spoon some of the mushroom filling into the par-baked pastry cases. Top with a couple of teaspoons of onion the cover with some puff pastry using a fork to seal the puff pastry onto the shortcrust.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes in a 200 C oven until golden brown.

The mushroom and gravy together with the sweetness of the onion is amazing.

Serve with peas or broccoli and wedges of fresh tomato and a squeeze or two of your favourite tomato sauce.

A winner.

Enjoy…