Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tempeh & Lager Pie

St. Patricks Day is almost here, so what does that mean to me? Not much since I don't drink although I MIGHT be Irish somewhere in there, who knows, I'm a mixed bag of nationalities. What it does mean is that I have a chance to learn about some new cuisines that I don't often venture in to. I don't mind using alcohol in my cooking so when coming across traditional "Steak and Guiness Pie", I thought I'd give it a go. It seems like how to top this pie runs the gamut from a pie crust to pastry crust to potato topping. I thought a mix would taste best, puff pastry as a shell and mashed potatoes baked on top. Perfect!
(Guiness isn't vegan so I used a dark lager)
Is your favorite beer vegan?

** I plan on also making a Chocolate Potato Cake for the holiday. My recipe involves using 1 cup of plain mashed potatoes. Knowing I would need them soon, I went ahead and cooked a bit more than needed so I wouldn't have to do it again. If you don't plan on making the cake, use 2 potatoes instead of 3.

Tempeh, wild mushrooms, carrots, onions and fresh thyme simmered in a rich broth of mushroom stock and dark lager packed into a crisp pastry crust and topped with whipped mashed potatoes cooked until golden brown.

Tempeh & Lager Pie
1 oz dried mushrooms ( I used a mix of wild mushrooms)
12oz tempeh, 1/4" cubes
salt and pepper
ap flour
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, small dice
1 carrot, small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbl tomato paste
1 tbl vegan worcestershire sauce
1 cup reserved mushroom stock
1 cup vegan dark lager beer
2 or 3** russet potatoes, peeled, 1/2" cubes
2 tbl earth balance vegan butter
3 tbl unsweetened almond milk
2 sheets vegan puff pastry, thawed
Olive oil to drizzle

Soak the mushrooms in 1 1/4" boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserve the stock and mince the mushrooms. Set aside.
Coat the tempeh cubes in salt, pepper and toss in flour. Heat 2 tbl of oil up in a medium stock pot and brown the tempeh on all sides. Set the tempeh aside, add the remaining 1 tbl of oil and saute the onions, carrot and celery with more salt and pepper. Saute for 7 -10 minutes until the vegetable start to become tender. Add the mushrooms, thyme and garlic and saute 5 minutes more. Add the tomato paste and worcestershire sauce, toss to coat and cook 1 minute more. Add reserved 1 cup of mushroom stock and beer, scraping everything off the bottom of the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the pie filling is like a thick stew.
Bring a large pot of salted water and the potatoes to a boil. Cook until tender, drain and mash. If making the chocolate potato cake, reserve 1 cup of plain mashed potatoes. Mix the remaining with butter and almond milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Roll out each puff pastry sheet slightly to thin out and cut 5 large circles out that will fit in your muffin tins (or roll out one large circle to fit a pie pan). Place a square of parchment in the cup and fill with a weight, or dried baking beans to blind bake the pies. Bake for 10 minutes then remove the beans. Lower the temperature to 375.
Fill each tin with tempeh stew and top with mashed potatoes drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes until the mashed potatoes have browned.

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