Dreamy Vego Pie…
Last Sunday, I decided to make a savory pie. It had been a bit cooler for a few days and my son, Jess, was looking for some hearty food. I was feeling pretty smug about the pie when it was done - making a great vego pie isn't easy and takes a bit of time, patience and love. So when Jess said to me the next morning "Mum, that pie was so awesome - I dreamt about it last night!", I was positively glowing! I knew I had to share it as the first official recipe on my new blog :) It does take some effort, but for that kind of praise, it's worth it!!
Ingredients Serves 4-6 people (4 if you have teenagers with a voracious appetite!)
I 3 Sheets of frozen puff pastry (see Pastry Notes below)
I 3 medium/large potatoes, diced into small squares
I 4 slices Sanitarium Deli Slices (or Bacon Style Rashers), chopped into small pieces
I 1 large (preferably red) onion, chopped roughly
I 1 can of corn (preferably organic)
I 1 cup of frozen peas
I Small bunch or bag of baby spinach, chopped roughly
I 1 can of butter beans or cannellini beans (preferably organic)
I 2-6 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste), crushed or chopped finely
I 3-4 beef flavoured stock cubes (I use ‘beef’ Oxo’s – they are the best tasting, but they do have msg in them)
I 2 heaped tablespoons of plain flour (or cornflour)
I 500 mls water
I Large handful of parsley, finely chopped
I 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce (yep, good old tomato sauce!)
I 1 ‘sachet’ of Bouquet Garni (in the herb section)
I 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or other good quality oil)
I Salt & Pepper
This recipe can be done 2 ways. If you have a slow cooker, begin preparing in the morning and allow the slow cooker to do its thing until you are ready to make the pie (the flavour will be amazing). Otherwise, simply make this as you would with a ‘stew’ – in a large pot with a heavy/non-stick base.
1. In a large frying pan, heat oil then fry up the onion and the Deli Slice for about 5 mins until they are both browning. Add potato and garlic and continue to fry for another 5-10 minutes, until the potatoes have a little bit of colour (this brings out the flavour).
It already smells amazing doesn't it???
While you’re waiting for this to cook, boil the water and mix with stock cubes in a large jug or bowl. Mix well and put aside.
2. Add the corn, drained beans and half the parsley and cook for another minute.
3. If you’re using a slow cooker, add contents of frying pan to the slow cooker then sprinkle the flour over the mixture and mix in. Add stock mixture, withholding about 150 mls (just guess). Add the tomato sauce, Bouquet Garni sachet & pepper, and mix well. Put on the lid and set the cooker according to the time you have available (I usually set it on automatic, which heats to high then goes down low – leave it for about 4-6 hours – it will be cooked after 4). Add more stock after a couple of hours if needed.
4. If you’re not using a slow cooker, follow the steps above and bring to the boil (stirring fairly often), then turn down low and simmer for half an hour. Add more stock after 15 mins if needed.
5. 30 minutes before you’re going to assemble the pie, turn the oven onto 220oC. 15 minutes before, turn off the heat, add the spinach, frozen peas and the rest of the parsley & stir. Taste and add salt/pepper to taste. Then take the pastry out of the freezer and lay flat on the kitchen counter for 10 mins (separately).
6. To assemble the pie: grease a deep pie dish with oil (or butter). Cut 2 of the pieces of pastry as shown by the red line in the diagram. Put aside the remaining pastry.
7. Lay the sheets of pastry in the dish (making sure it is in contact with the dish all the way), so that the pastry goes up and over the sides, and overlaps in the middle of the dish. Press gently along the line where the 2 pieces of pastry overlap. Use small triangles of leftover pastry to fill any gaps.
8. Use a ladle to spoon mixture into the dish until it is a few centimetres from the top.
9. Lay the remaining piece of pastry over the top and gently press the pastry together around the inner rim of the dish (use your fingers). Use a knife or kitchen scissors to cut the excess pastry that falls over the sides of the dish. Pierce the top 8-10 times with a fork (this allows steam to escape). You can decorate the pie by cutting little leaves out of remaining pastry and placing on top (as taught to me by my Mum!).
10. Spray or brush the pastry lightly with oil (vegan) or brush with milk and/or egg and gently lift the part of the pastry that meets the flat edges of the pie dish, to stop it from sticking too much to the dish. Place on the middle shelf of the oven.
11. Bake for 30 mins, then check and rotate if parts of the pastry are becoming more cooked than others. If the edges are browning too much at this stage, compared with the rest of the pie, you can (very carefully so you don’t burn yourself!) cover the edges with some foil for the rest of the baking time. Cook for about another 10-15 mins (will depend on your oven), then remove when golden brown, and allow to cool for 5-10 mins before cutting & serving.
It will be a bit ‘oozy’, but that’s par for the course. Serve alone or with some green salad.
ENJOY your star status!!!
“If you can eat with mates or friends or family, I mean, it's such a brilliant thing isn't it? If you feel really rubbish and you have a nice bit of food it makes you feel good, you know?”
Leave your comments below...it's always lovely to hear your feedback. Feel free to let me know if there are any particular recipes or techniques you'd like me to share - if I can, I will!