Oh my, how I love pie! This vegan mushroom pie is filled with chestnuts and veg and spiked with a generous splosh of ale. It will warm your cockles on the darkest of winter nights and may have you breaking out in spontaneous song.
Winter days are made for comfort food and there is nothing more comforting than pie. Cutting through crisp, flaky pastry to release savoury scents and reveal hidden delights is one of life’s simplest pleasures.
This particular pie is filled with a rich mixture of mushrooms, chestnuts, carrots, shallots and leeks flavoured with garlic, dried porcini, thyme and darkest London Porter ale.
There is no compromise on taste here. This pie is on a mission to reach the parts a lesser vegan mushroom pie cannot reach. This pie is after your soul.
Notes on Ingredients For A Tasty Vegan Mushroom Pie
Obviously a mushroom pie needs mushrooms! Since funghi are the star of the show here I have used nutty flavoured chestnut mushrooms because they add just a little bit more oomph. Do use white button mushrooms if you can’t get them. Both soak up flavours well so feel free to use either, there is no room for mushroom snobbery in my kitchen!
A small handful of dried porcini also make an appearance in this recipe and I used their soaking liquid to add a bit more mushroom essence to the stock. You could use mixed dried mushrooms instead or leave them out altogether if you’re not a fan, just make sure to taste and adjust the flavourings in your stock if you do.
If you can get them large field mushrooms or portabellos could go in too or shake it up a bit with a selection of fresh wild mushrooms or the strong flavours of shiitake.
Chestnuts provide both texture and flavour in this winter pie. I use vacuum packed, ready cooked chestnuts from Merchant Gourmet because they are super tasty and very convenient which is what I need on a busy weeknight. Fresh roasted and shelled chestnuts or dried ones, soaked overnight and cooked can, of course, be used instead.
Sprouts and Carrots
Some of you will loathe the idea of sprouts in a pie, leave them out, I shan’t be offended! If, however, you are a sensible sprout loving sort of a person, read on! Soggy sprouts can ruin a good dish so, rather than popping them in with the other veg for a long stewing, roast them first and add them to the dish right at the end. They will retain all their gorgeous flavour but won’t dissolve into a soggy, school dinnery mush.
Carrots are chopped into big, generous chunks and cooked slowly in the richly flavoured stock which provides the base for this pie – scrumptious!
Leeks and Shallots
Leeks and mushrooms are a marriage made in heaven, I almost can’t countenance eating one without the other. Add some juicy little shallots for bite sized mouthfuls of deliciousness and you are well on the way to the pie of dreams.
An ale and mushroom pie wouldn’t be an ale and mushroom pie without the beer! I chose a richly flavoured London Porter from Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range. According to their website it is
A satin-smooth and silky traditional London-style porter, produced by Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer. Sticks of liquorice, added to the rich roster of dark malts, give this dark beer a black cherry, plummy aroma. On the palate, the full-bodied yet quenching beer delivers chocolate and prune flavours and a long smoky finish. It is brewed with charred malt and English hops to give a truly unique flavour.
It is also vegan – do check the label any beer you choose for your pie. Barnivore is an excellent resource which lists which beers, wines and spirits are suitable for vegans.
If you want a lighter flavour use a lighter ale or lager and feel free to ring the seasonal changes with some cider or wine instead!
Stock and Flavourings
I use Marmite along with the porcini soaking liquid, some tomato purée and the dark ale to flavour my vegan mushroom pie. If you are not a Marmite fan use Vecon or your favourite vegetable stock instead.
This all results in a rich, earthy, punchy flavour which just needs the tiniest bit of sweetening to lift it to heavenly heights. A spoonful of homemade redcurrant jelly provided that lift on this occasion. I have also used blackberry and blackcurrant in the past – I’d steer clear of raspberry, strawberry or apricot though!
Garlic and thyme add the final flavour notes along with a generous grinding of fresh black pepper and salt to taste.
Once this glorious filling is complete it is topped with a blanket of crisp, flaky puff pastry. I use shop bought puff pastry (check it’s vegan) because it is quick and convenient and I can get that pie onto the table and into my tummy quickly.
A snowflake cookie cutter on the pastry trimmings made this rustic vegan pie look suitably wintery. Stars would also work well as would anything Christmassy for the festive season.
Craving More Vegan Puff Pastry Recipes? Try:
- Hummus and Carrot Tart with Caramelised Onions and Thyme.
- Easy Vegan Sausage Rolls.
- Vegan Canapés with Cream Cheese in Puff Pastry Boxes.
More Vegan Pastry Ideas:
- Vegan Tart with Roasted Vegetables and Smoked Garlic (Vegan Shortcrust Pastry).
- Sweet Potato and Mixed Nuts Picnic Pies (Crisp Hot Water Crust Pastry).
- Vegan Apple Tart with Somerset Cider.
Vegan Mushroom Pie with Ale and Chestnuts
- Oven Proof Casserole Dish
- Baking Tray
- Large Frying Pan
- 500 g block puff pastry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 200 g brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
- 1 medium leek trimmed and sliced into rings
- 5 shallots peeled and halved
- 300 g chestnut mushrooms halved
- 300 g carrots sliced into fat chunks
- 180 g cooked chestnuts roughly crumbled
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp Marmite
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 300 ml dark vegan ale
- 1 tsp redcurrant jelly (more to taste)
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- a generous grinding of fresh black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp vegan butter for greasing
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Lay the halved sprouts on a baking tray and drizzle with a tablespoonful of the olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until browned and fork tender.
- Soak the dried porcini in 400ml/1.5 cups boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop finely.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the onions and shallots for about 5 minutes until browned.
- Add the mushrooms, carrots, garlic, chopped porcini, garlic and thyme and fry gently for a further five minutes.
- Add the Marmite and tomato puree to the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and pour into the frying pan with the vegetables.
- Add the ale and plenty of black pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by two thirds.
- Add a little water to the cornflour, stir until lump free then pour into the sauce and stir until thickened.
- Add the redcurrant jelly and the roasted sprouts. Stir to coat everything with the sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Lightly grease a large casserole dish, including a little around the rim.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared casserole dish.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and leave to sit for 10 minutes.
- Raise the oven temperature to 200C/400F.
- Roll the puff pastry out to form a circle large enough to cover your pie. Fold the pastry over your rolling pin and lift into place. Crimp the edges with your fingers or the back of a spoon onto the edge of your pie dish. Trim away excess pastry.
- Brush the pastry with a little plant based milk. Roll out the left over pastry and cut snowflake or star shapes out with cookie cutters. Place on top of the pastry lid and brush with a little milk.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes until the pastry is puffed and browning and the filling is bubbling around the edges.