With all these cold rainy days piling up one after another, its obvious that winter is coming. Sooner rather than later. This makes me – 1). really really sad that I have no more Game of Thrones to watch at the moment and 2). remember how much I love casseroles, savory pies and roast dinners.
Comfort is my ultimate indulgence. More than anything in the world, I love cuddling under a blanket with a good book and cup of tea. Just add buttery crystallized ginger biscuits and that would be perfect just about now.
A close second on the comfort scale is definitely a proper English roast dinner. With lovely crispy roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings drizzled with way too much gravy. Growing up this was a typical sunday dinner and even more so since I met my rather British husband. However, my desire to cut back on our meat consumption (for many different reasons) kinda makes this meal a bit obsolete.
So in hopes of finding equally comforting food, I’ve been experimenting with veggies and mushrooms in pies, casseroles and all sorts. Nothing quite replaces a full roast, but these Mushroom, Thyme & Lentil pies come quite close. Served with all of the roast dinner sides and you’re on your way to having a perfect Sunday in.
Mushroom, Thyme and Lentil Pies
Makes 4 large individual pies
- 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 small carrots, medium dice
- 2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 500g cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 1/2 cups puy or beluga lentils, cooked
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsp dry red wine
- 1 Tbsp dried Thyme
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Puff Pastry Sheet
- 1 egg
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and add in the diced onion and carrots. Cook on medium heat until the onion is translucent and softened and carrots are getting soft. Meanwhile, lightly wash and quarter all of the mushrooms.
Once the onions and carrots are softened, add in the garlic and mushrooms and let them cook for 4-5 minutes on medium high heat. The mushrooms will shrink quite a bit in size. At this point add in the lentils, vegetable stock, tomato paste, soy sauce, red wine and thyme. In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch with a small bit of tap water and then mix with the rest. Let cook for a few minutes more until the mixture comes to a boil and the sauce is thickened. Take off the heat and cover to let the flavors meld together a bit while you get the pastry ready.
Preheat the oven to 400F or according to the instructions on the puff pastry package. After leaving the pastry out for 5-10 minutes to warm up, roll it out flat onto a cutting board. Using the top edge of your ramekins as guides, cut out 4 circles to top your pies. Cut a small x into the middle of each circle so the pie can vent as it cooks in the oven.
Carefully spoon the mushroom and lentil mixture into ramekins and top with your cut pastry circles. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush lightly onto the pastry. Place all the ramekins onto a baking sheet and put into the oven for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is brown and puffy and the inside is all oozy. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve immediately.