Sometimes only a pie will do. When it’s cold and wet and still February, only a pie will do. Although technically this pie is a stew with a pastry lid (see: Proper Good Pies), this little delight absolutely did the trick. I spied some knobbly Jerusalem artichokes on the local organic and biodynamic veg. stall (the glorious Brockmans) at my local market (Venn Street Market) and decided to give them a whirl. Prior to this, I hadn’t cooked with or (to my knowledge) eaten Jartichokes and they were lovely – sort of nutty with the warm hug of potato. Enjoy with gravy, naturally.
Ingredients – makes 4-6 pot pies or 1 family sized pie, possibly with some extra pastry which can be frozen.
For the pie filling:
- 1 medium red onion – chopped
- 2 stalks of celery – washed and finely chopped
- 250g or so Jerusalem artichoke – well scrubbed and sliced
- 300g mushrooms – sliced
- 10g dried wild mushrooms – soaked according to packet instructions
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 100ml white wine
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 200ml mushroom soaking liquid
- 100ml double cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg – beaten
For the pastry:
- 220g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 50g butter – warmed at room temperature for 20 minutes or so and then cubed
- A little cold water
- Melt a knob of butter in a pan over a low heat and add the chopped onion. Sauté until soft then add the celery, Jerusalem artichoke rounds and fresh mushrooms. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the soaked wild mushrooms, sage and wine. Cook for a minute or so then stir in the flour.
- Pour in the mushroom soaking liquid and cream.
- Season to taste and leave to simmer.
- To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and use a dinner knife to cut the butter into the flour.
- When the mixture has mostly come together, begin to rub the fat into the flour with your fingertips. When rubbing in, bring the mixture up to the height of the rim of the bowl in order to incorporate air into the pastry.
- Continue to rub in until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle a tablespoon of water into the bowl and bring the mixture together with a knife. As the dough comes together, start to use your fingertips to bring it together further.
- Eventually, the dough will come together, leaving the bowl nearly clean. You may need to add a little more liquid but be careful to be very sparing, adding only a sprinkle with your fingertips if necessary.
- Wrap the pastry ball in cling film and rest in the fridge for half an hour or so. If you’re cooking the pie straight away, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
- When the pastry has finished resting, transfer the pie filling into one large pie dish, or 4-6 individual dishes.
- Roll the pastry out between two large sheets of greaseproof paper to about half a centimetre thick.
- Brush the beaten egg around the rim of the pie dish(es) and carefully place the pastry on top (having cut to approximate size if using small dishes). Trim the pastry further, press to the rim of the dish to seal and crimp the edges.
- Use a knife to make a couple of slits in the pie lid(s) and brush the pastry with the egg.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden.