Tuesday 25 March 2008

Mushroom & Mixed Veg Pie

While I was home over Easter I wanted to cook my family a Vegetarian meal that we could all enjoy. (They are all meat eaters and don’t eat that much vegetarian food) Due to the horrible cold weather (snow and hail) I chose to cook a warming vegetable pie. I decided to make the base a sort of mushrooms style bolognaise and then layer it up with grilled aubergine, spinach and topped with roasted butternut squash and potato mash.

The mushroom base was mixed with beans and gave a wonderful texture and flavour that meant my family didn’t miss their meat at all. As much as I hate to admit it they do give a nice ‘meaty’ texture. The roasted butternut squash in the mash gave a wonderful colour and a lovely autumnal flavour to the dish. I also stirred through some sliced leek for added flavour.

The only downside to the pie is that it did take quite a while to prepare due to the different components which were all assembled separately, but as it was a horrible day outside I was more than happy to stay warm and cosy in the kitchen. If you are short of time I see no reason why you couldn’t forgo the roasting of the squash and simply boil it with the potatoes, and the aubergine could be diced and cooked with the mushrooms instead of being griddled quite easily.

It was a very comforting meal to eat while listening to the hail stones bouncing off the windows.

Mushroom & Mixed Veg Pie

450g mushrooms
3 cloves garlic.
1 large onion
1 small butternut squash
1 aubergine
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g tin black eyed beans
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp brown sauce
4 medium potatoes
1 leek
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp double cream
100g spinach

Preheat the oven to 200C. Chop the butternut squash into large chunks, remove the seeds and place on a baking tray (you can leave the skin on). Drizzle over a tablespoon of olive oil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a very large frying pan. Chop the onion into a small dice, add to the pan and cook gently until soft.
Meanwhile dice the mushrooms, crush the garlic and finely chop the thyme and then add to the pan of onions. Allow to cook slowly and reduce for around 30 minutes.
Heat a griddle pan until hot. Slice the aubergine into ½ cm discs and brush each slice with a little olive oil and sprinkle with oregano. Place the discs onto the griddle pan and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Brush with a little more oil and then flip over and grill the other side. Transfer to a plate and set to one side.
When the mushrooms are golden brown and reduced, drain the tin of beans and add to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes and brown sauce. Stir until well mixed and allow to simmer, reduce and thicken (about 30 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the mushroom mixture is cooking, peel, dice and boil the potatoes until soft.
Meanwhile, slice the leek and fry in a little oil until softened, then set to one side.
Drain the potatoes. Scrape the roasted butternut squash the its skin and add to the potato. Mash both together, adding the double cream and enough milk to create a smooth mash. Stir through the leek, season to taste and set to one side.
Now assemble the dish.
Place half the mushroom mixture into the base of a deep 30x20cm ovenproof dish, arrange the sliced aubergine over the surface and then spread the remaining mushroom mixture over the top.
Lay the spinach over the top and grate over a little fresh nutmeg.
Dollop the vegetable mash over the top and spread it out into an even layer. Drag a fork over the surface to create peaks and tufts and then place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 6


Anonymous said...

That does look good and I love how you could cut into a perfect square. I agree, mushrooms are meaty tasting. I love making portabella mushroom burgers on the grill. You'd never know it was a burger sans the beef.

SaraLynn said...

This looks wonderful. I wish I could reach through the computer for a slice ;)

Pixie said...

It looks well worth all the work you put into it. A very filling meal!

Annemarie said...

This looks like a veggie pie that any meat eater could get into. I love the sound of the different roast vegetables and the mushroom base.

Johanna GGG said...

looks lovely - just the way to cheer up a miserable winter day

- it is hard trying to please meat eaters with vegetarian meals sometimes but I think of my little niece who is 5 and how she is trying to get her head around vegetarianism - she gets surprised that she also eats a lot of vegetarian food (eg she will ask if an apple is vegetarian) - this is what we often forget about meat eaters! (which is probably not helped by using the term meat eaters!)