Mushroom and Chestnut Pies
These Mushroom and Chestnut Pies make a fantastic vegetarian main course at an autumn or winter dinner. I often make them for Sunday lunch when I usually serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests. The non-vegetarians get a roast and the vegetarians get the Mushroom and Chestnut Pies. They both go well with the same accompaniments – roast potatoes, cauliflower in white sauce, buttered carrots, parsnips – which makes things easy!
What makes these pies particularly good is the combination of the mushrooms and the chestnuts. The chestnuts add a sweetness which goes very well with the bosky savouriness of the mushrooms. Also, I think there is something special and celebratory about dishes that include crisp flaky pastry. These pies are part of my traditional Christmas Day dinner when I serve both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
Mushroom and Chestnut PiesPrint
These Mushroom and Chestnut pies are the perfect autumn main course combining savoury mushrooms and sweet chestnuts wrapped in crisp buttery pastry.
- 25 g butter and 1 teaspoon oil (or 2 tsp if vegan)
- 1 onion
- 1 bulb of fennel
- 2 sticks of celery
- Salt and pepper
- 250 g mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove
- Several sprigs of fresh thyme (or one teaspoon of dried thyme)
- 180 g of peeled, whole chestnuts
- 500 g packet of puff pastry
- 1 egg
- Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pan
- Peel and chop the onion, fennel and celery. Add the vegetables to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook very gently for around 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and sweet. Slow cooking caramelises the natural sugars in the vegetables and greatly improves the flavour of the dish.
- Slice the mushrooms and add them to the pan together with the peeled and crushed garlic clove. Cook for a further five minutes.
- If using fresh thyme, remove the leaves from the woody stems. Add the thyme to the vegetable mixture.
- Roughly chop the chestnuts and add them to the vegetable mixture. Cook for a further five minutes.
- Roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of approximately half a centimetre. Cut circles from the pastry. Either use a pastry cutter or cut around a small saucer or plate.
- Break and lightly whisk the egg. Use a pastry brush to paint egg around the circumference of one of the pastry circles. Place a spoonful of the mushroom and chestnut mixture in the centre of the circle and then fold the pastry circle in half to form a semi-circular pie. Paint some more of the egg over the top of the pie. Repeat for the rest of the pastry circles.
- Place the pies on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Keywords: vegetarian, mushroom, chestnut, pies
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