Salty

Steak and Ale Pie (vegan)

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Do not let the term ‘humble pie’ fool you– pie is NOT humble. If there was ever a food that offers a surprise each time you eat it, it is definitely a pie. Ok, well it can be more down to earth, but it can just as equally, be located at the opposite end of the spectrum. A pie is more than just a meal or dessert, it is a plate full of hidden treasures which brings me happiness.

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Therefore, pie = happiness, which means there’s only one way to go and that’s towards the kitchen to make it and eat it.

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If you want to feel even happier, stuff it with mushrooms, faux steak and plenty of alcoholic gravy.

Serving size:
Serves 4-6

Ingredients for filling:
• 500g tofu chunks (thawed from frozen)
• 1tbsp rapeseed oil
• 1 large onion sliced
• 2 large carrots sliced thinly
• 250g chestnut, shiitake or oyster mushrooms

Ingredients for gravy:
• 2 large onions diced
• 2 cloves garlic crushed
• 200ml dark ale
• 200ml vegetable stock
• 2 bay leaves
• 5 peppercorns
• 1tbsp dried thyme
• 1tsp dried rosemary
• 2tbsp sugar
• 4tbsp plain flour
• Salt to taste

Ingredients for pastry:
• 600g plain flour
• 200g butter/margarine
• 100ml water (may be slightly more or less)
• Pinch of salt
• Milk to glaze

Method:

  1. For the pastry, crumble the flour and butter together using fingertips for a breadcrumb-like texture and mix in the
    salt.
  2. Add the water, spoon by spoon, mixing with a blunt knife until a dough is formed and refrigerate.
  3. For the gravy, fry the onions for 15 minutes or until brown.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (apart from the flour)and allow to simmer for 25 minutes.
  5. Strain the gravy, remove the bay leaves and blitz the onions and garlic in a food processor to a creamy paste.
  6. Add the paste back into the gravy and bring to a simmer.
  7. Make a paste with the flour and water and stir into the gravy, mixing occasionally for 10-15 minutes until it thickens
    and then leave aside.
  8. For the tofu filling, pan fry the onions until brown.
  9. Stir in the carrots, mushrooms and tofu and leave to cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Combine the tofu mix with the gravy and set aside.
  11. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  12. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and roll into sheets to line a greased baking dish or pie tin, leaving enough
    to also make a pastry lid.
  13. Spoon in the cold filling then cover with the remaining pastry, trimming the edges and sealing them together.
  14. Brush with milk and bake for 35 minutes. Cover with foil if the pastry browns too quickly.
  15. Stick in between two slabs of white crusty loaf, served with mashed potato and mushy peas.

Now go enjoy your dirty sarnie, washed down with a pint of ale.

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