Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Vegan Chick'n and Mushroom Pie

Most vegetarians are more than familiar with the 'orange takeover' of Quorn on the supermarket shelves whilst us long term vegans wondered what all fuss was about and cursed at the non-vegan monopoly that has existed for way too long. No longer though.  In the past year Quorn has introduced a vegan range. I have however been slow on the uptake and Quorn has only really just come onto my radar, probably because I'd spent way too long ignoring the 'orange glow' in the shops already. Processed food isn't a regular theme with us either.

However, a recent visit involving my omni/vegetarian/vegan family led me to seek time saving, big family meal ideas which suited the tastes of everyone but didn't compromise my own ethics.  I thought I'd give the Vegan Quorn Pieces a go and, with the help of some equally convenient Jus Rol puff pastry, I decided on making a big old chick'n and mushroom pie. Let's just say that I not only got away with it big style (with a big thumbs up from the two omnis), but Phil demanded I make another after my family had left that he didn't have to share with everyone!  It is now likely to become a regular convenient treat for those weekday evenings when a good old pie is exactly what is required.

Not one to write a recipe down, below I will endeavour to give you (aka remember) the recipe. However, it is more the idea that I hope to inspire with.  After all my friend and colleague Jane went home the very evening that I mentioned it and cooked her own version no problem because 'I'd put the idea in her head'!  When you have to have pie, you have to have pie!  

...and don't worry if you think the pie is too big as it is great the next day cold for lunch!

Chick'n and Mushroom Pie

This filled a 7" x 12" pie tin 

Oil for frying and some for greasing the tin (I used rapeseed oil)

2 large leeks sliced
Garlic cloves to taste chopped or crushed
About 8 large mushrooms (I used organic chestnut ones) sliced
1 packet of Vegan Quorn Pieces (280g)
A heaped teaspoon of mustard
A tablespoon of soya sauce
Half a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
A tablespoon of parsley flakes
Half a pint of thickly made gravy of your choice
2 packets of Ready Rolled Jus Rol Puff Pastry (320g each sheet)

Put sufficient oil in a medium sized saucepan to fry the veg (you could just 'fry' in a little water or broth if you preferred).  Start with the leeks and fry until nicely softened, then add the garlic and finally the mushrooms.  Fry until browning slightly and then add the packet of Vegan Quorn Pieces. Stir and then leave to cook for a further 5 minutes until the pieces have softened.

At this point freestyle it and add in whatever tastes you like and that go with this combo.  I added in a little mustard, a splash of soya sauce, a bit of balsamic vinegar (adds a slight tartness), a sprinkle of parsley flakes and then made up half a pint of thick gravy and stirred that in to the mix.  I cooked the mixture for about another 10 minutes to fully mix the flavours.

Grease your chosen pie dish or tin and then line it with the first sheet of pastry ensuring it goes nicely up the sides to contain the juicy filling.  Whop the filling on the top and then finish with the final sheet of pastry.  Cut any excess pastry (mini pasties or cut nice shapes to decorate the top?) away from this sheet and give it a good crimping around the outside to seal in. I added in a couple of vent holes just to insure against the top blowing off.  Bake in the oven at 200 degrees C for approximately 30 minutes (but our oven is about 30 years old so don't completely trust me and just cook it until nicely brown on top!).

The first version I made I froze in preparation for my family's visit.  I think I really should have then cooked it from frozen rather than defrosted it first as the bottom burnt a little. There was no such problem with the freshly made second version I made though as pictured.


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