This is effectively the dish that launched the blog – my entry into the Linda McCartney competition in 2011 to find ‘the Nation’s Tastiest Meat-Free Dish’. I won, and this pie became part of their ready-meal range!
- 10 small shallots, halved
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp tomato, puree
- 75g puy lentils, washed and drained
- 150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced thickly
- 150g flat mushrooms, sliced thickly
- 20g dried porcini mushrooms
- 275ml brown ale
- 200ml vegetable stock
- 50g baby spinach
- Cornflower and butter made to a paste, to thicken
- Ready-made puff pastry
- 1 egg
- Heat olive oil and butter in a pan, add shallots and cook gently until brown. Reduce heat, add the garlic and cook for two more minutes.
- Stir in tomato purée, lentils, flat and chestnut mushrooms. Turn up heat and cook for five minutes.
- Stir in the brown ale and 100ml of the stock. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Soak the porcini mushrooms in 200ml warm water for 20 minutes, drain (reserving the soaking liquor) and chop roughly. Add both the porcini and the soaking liquor to the pan.
- Simmer for a further 10 minutes, using the remaining stock or the cornflour and butter paste to adjust the consistency until a thick gravy-like pie filling is achieved.
- Stir through the baby spinach, and spoon the mixture into individual pie dishes. Brush the edges with beaten egg and cover with rolled puff pastry.
- Brush the pie tops with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven at 180oC for 20 minutes or until pastry tops are golden and well risen. Serve immediately.
Make it vegan: Just substitute the butter with dairy-free margarine, and check that your puff-pastry is vegan, (most supermarket versions are). Glaze with soya milk instead of egg.
Alternatively, you can now buy my pie as part of the Linda McCartney range, and its currently selling exclusively in Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.