Yesterday I made one of those meals that’s perfect for a cold winter day – a leek, mushroom, potato and lentil pie. It went down a treat. Here’s how you can do it.
I won’t give the recipe for the pastry as that part of it turned out to be a bit of a Frankenstein. Originally I was aiming to use the pastry recipe from the Torta Rustica in Sophie Gray’s original Destitute Gourmet book but I didn’t quite have enough to make the lid for the pie in the dish I was using. I ended up using some puff pastry for the lid. In all honesty, after tasting it, next time I think I’d just use puff pastry as the casing for the whole thing. Here’s the filling recipe though as that’s where the magic is. Honestly, it’s divine!
Please note, this recipe is not an exact science as there was a bit of experimenting, so just use it as a starting point for something to play with.
Leek, Mushroom, Potato and Lentil Pie Ingredients
- 3 potatoes
- 2 leeks
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 7 large button mushrooms (use whatever mushrooms you prefer here. Field mushrooms will yield a lot of flavour,\ but I was aiming more for that nice velvety texture that button mushrooms have rather than the fullness of flavour).
- 350g tinned lentils
- 1 red onion
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 100ml Cream
- 1/4 cup of oil (I used sunflower oil but you can use any sort of oil)
- 3 cups vegetable stock (chicken stock will add nice flavour as well and reduce the need for added salt)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Any additions (I added Salmon and dill for an extra bit of luxury. Bacon would work well too, and whatever herbs you like)
- Peel, chop and boil the potatoes. Once these are tender, drain and set them aside. With the right potatoes you could get away with not peeling them and just making sure they are well washed. (Yes, I’m assuming you don’t need a blow by blow account to cook spuds).
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped red onion, crushed/chopped garlic and leeks. Simmer for 10 minutes making sure they don’t brown.
- Sprinkle in the flour and stir. There should be plenty of liquid and it will start to thicken up.
- Add 2 cups of the stock and all of the mushrooms. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. You should see the mixture continuing to thicken.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, cream and any herbs you may want (dill is a good addition and so is thyme – don’t go to heavy with these as the rest of the flavours are subtle).
- Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. The extra stock is there to add if necessary but remember you’re creating a pie filling so eventually it should be very thick.
- Add the potatoes and lentils. Stir and keep it simmering until you get your desired consistency. Stay close and stir regularly to avoid it sticking and burning.
- Turn the heat off and then stand it aside to cool. Give it 10 minutes or so to thicken up.
That cooling time is the opportunity to set up the dish for the pie. You have any number of options for this. You could lay the leek, mushroom, potato and lentil pie mixture in a dish and just put a layer of puff pastry over the top or you could create a full casing. I created a full casing and ended up doing it with two different types of pastry because I didn’t have enough of what I made originally. If you really want to know what I did for this feel free to leave a comment. If there are enough comments I’ll add that bit.
I cooked it in the oven for 30-35 minutes and then took it out to let it cool. Cooling allows the whole thing to firm up.The mixture won’t hold firm while it is hot (it’s mostly about taste, not the look) but once it’s cold, it looks quite stunning. It can be eaten either hot or cold. I have thoroughly enjoyed it both ways.