Now that we are all in lockdown what better time to try some new dishes, especially those that require a little more time. Here I am sharing with you a recipe for one of my favourites pies, my mushroom and lentil pie. It takes a little time to prepare but it is worth the effort!
Note that it is a good idea to make the lentil mixture the day before and store in the fridge, this will allow the flavours to mix fully.
For the lentil mixture
30g dried porcini mushrooms
2 onions, finally chopped
1 leek, finely sliced
1 fennel, finely sliced
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
3cm fresh ginger, finely grated
1½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp black pepper
150ml red wine
300g puy lentils, rinsed
2 spring of rosemary
500ml vegetable or beef/chicken stock
250g chestnuts mushrooms, finally sliced
1 tsp Marmite
½ tbsp dried thyme
3 tbsp tomato purée
Juice of one lime
Red pepper flakes
For the topping
1kg floury potatoes (like Maris Piper, or King Edward), peeled and cut into large chunks, about 5cm
3 tbsp milk
Knob of butter
100g cheddar cheese, grated
To make the lentil mix, first place the dried porcini in a bowl and add 300ml of freshly boiled water and set aside to rehydrate.
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, onions, leeks, fennel and a pinch of salt to a large pan and cook on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the ingredients are fully soften and golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper. Stir for a minute. Then, add the wine and cook for a further two minutes before adding the lentils, rosemary and stock.
Remove the porcini mushrooms from the water and then add the water to the pan followed by the porcini mushrooms (finely chopped). Stir to mix and bring to the boil. Cook for 45 minutes on the lowest setting with the lid on.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, add the chestnut mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms are fully soft and juicy. Turn the heat off and add the Marmite and the dried thyme to the mushrooms. Stir to mix and set aside.
Discard the rosemary sticks from the lentils in the pan and add the tomato purée and reserved mushrooms (with the juice) to the lentils. Stir to mix and cook for a further 15 minutes with the lid on. Add the lime juice and stir to mix before seasoning with salt and red pepper flakes (if the mix has become too think then add a little water). Add the lentils to a baking tray (approximately 30cm in diameter) and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/ 400°F/ Gas 4.
To make the topping, put the potatoes into a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, add a pinch of salt, and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Put the potatoes back in the pan, add the milk, butter, and 2/3rd of the cheddar cheese and mash until smooth.
Spread the mash over the filling and then sprinkle the remainder of the grated cheddar cheese evenly on top. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling.