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    Individual lentil, chestnut & Guinness pot pies

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    Individual lentil, chestnut & Guinness pot pies

    By Elly Curshen 

     

    These little pies are a great fit on the Christmas table. You can divide the finished filling into portions and make individual pies when required or even serve the filling as a stew, with mashed potato or colcannon

    • Vegan
    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 2 hours 25 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 50 minutes

    Makes: 6

    Ingredients

    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 medium onions, finely chopped
    2 medium carrots, cut into 2cm pieces
    2 stalks celery, finely chopped
    250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
    30g plain flour
    440ml can Guinness
    ½ swede, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces
    2 x 400g cans Essential Lentils In Water, drained
    180g Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts, roughly chopped
    2 tbsp tomato purée
    1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 bay leaves
    10 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
    2 tsp dark brown soft sugar 
    ½ tsp ground black pepper
    1L vegetable stock (made with 1 tbsp Marigold Vegan Bouillon and 1L boiling water)
    2 x 320g Jus-Rol Puff Pastry Sheets (depending on pie dishes used)
    2 tbsp plant-based milk alternative
    Wild cranberry sauce, to serve (optional)

    Method

    1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and ½ tsp sea salt flakes. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft, stirring regularly. Add the flour, stir to coat, then cook, uncovered, for a few minutes, without stirring. Pour in the Guinness and scrape up any delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

    2 Add the remaining ingredients (except the pastry, milk alternative and cranberry sauce) and 2 tsp sea salt flakes. Stir well, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced to a rich, thick sauce (this will take about 1 hour 30 minutes). You can now chill the filling (for up to 2 days) or freeze it (for up to 1 month) until you’re ready to make the pies. (Defrost in the fridge then remove 20 minutes before using.)

    3 Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Divide the filling between 6 individual pie dishes (or just fill a number of pie dishes as required and freeze the remaining portions). Unroll the pastry and, using a small, sharp knife, cut out pastry lids that are slightly larger than your pie dishes. Decorate the lids, if desired, with pastry shapes, or use the tip of a sharp knife to gently score a pattern into the surface.

    4 Brush the edge of the pie dishes with a little milk alternative. Put the pastry lids on top and press the edges onto the rim of the pie dish with a fork. Glaze the pastry with a little milk alternative and cut a slit in the centre of each pie to allow steam to escape. Put the dishes on a baking tray and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is well risen and golden. Serve with the greens and gravy (or all the Christmas trimmings) and cranberry sauce, if liked.

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    Elly’s tip

    Instead of baking the pies, you can heat the filling on the hob and serve in pie dishes with a pastry ‘lid’ on top. Simply cut the lids the same shape as your pie dishes, lay on a baking tray, decorate and glaze as directed and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until risen, crisp and golden. Put to one side and serve on top of the heated pie filling when ready

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