I first got the idea for this recipe from Paul Hollywood’s hand-raised Boxing Day pie, which you can see here. The game pie mould is a thing of beauty in itself, but the pies it produces look outstanding. The game pie mould is made by Matfer Bourgeat, who have been making specialist cookware since 1918. Traditionally, hot water crust pastry is made with lard, however I decided to create a vegetarian pie, so have used vegetable shortening in the mixture. I will definitely be trying another recipe with this pie mould soon (mushroom based of course) and was thinking something along the lines of rabbit and St. George’s mushrooms or pheasant and chanterelles. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated so comment below if you have any.
For the filling you will need:
- 50g dried porcini
- 30g butter
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
- 1 large leek, chopped (use the green part of the leek as well as it adds a nice green layer to the pie once cut)
- 1 large shallot, chopped,
- thyme, picked from the stem
- 375g ricotta
- 4 large portobello mushrooms
- 3 slices of brown bread, blended into breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
For the hot water crust pastry you will need:
- 300g plain flour
- 250g strong white flour
- 75g butter
- 150g vegetable shortening
- 200ml water
- 1 egg
- sea salt
First, put your dried porcini into soak and liberally grease your pie mould with lard. Then preheat your oven to 180°C (slightly lower for a fan oven). For your first layer of your filling, put a pan on a medium-high heat and add a good knob of butter, before adding your portobello mushrooms. Cook these until they have softened and then leave them to one side in a bowl. For the second layer, put the pan back on the heat with a small knob of butter and add the garlic and chestnut mushrooms and stir until softened. Once they have cooked, leave them to the side in a bowl. Put the pan back on the heat and add your leeks. Stir these until they have cooked through, then leave to the side in a container, leaving your frying pan free. Again, put the pan back on the heat with some more butter, add the shallots and fry until they have browned. Lower the heat slightly and add your thyme and ricotta. Slowly stir this for a few minutes and then remove the pan from the heat.
Take your soaking porcini – leaving the water to one side – and roughly chop. Combine the porcini in a mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs, 1 egg and a few grinds of pepper. Add a tablespoon of the porcini water to the bowl and mix. I recommend pouring the porcini water in a container and freezing it to use as stock in a risotto or stew. Leave your stuffing mixture to one side and start on your hot water crust pastry.
To make your pastry, add the plain flour, strong flour and a pinch of salt to a mixing bowl with the 75g of butter and rub together. Once combined, make a well in the middle of the mixture and leave to one side. Next, add the vegetable shortening to a saucepan with the 200ml of water and put on a medium heat. Once this starts to simmer, remove from the heat and pour the melted vegetable shortening into the well. Stir this with a wooden spoon until it forms into a dough.
Separate out one quarter of your dough and leave aside for the pie lid. Next, lightly coat a flat surface with flour and roll out the remaining dough to around 1cm thick. Gently roll your dough around the rolling pin and place it over your pie mould. Carefully push it down into the mould and fill the corners and sides of the mould with the dough.
Take your porcini stuffing mixture and spoon half of it into the pie mould, pushing it down gently.
For your second layer, add all of your garlic chestnut mushrooms and push down gently.
Next, spoon half of your ricotta mix into the mould.
For the next layer, add your leeks.
Follow with your portobello mushrooms and then the rest of your ricotta mixture.
At this point, my pie mould was full, but if you have any ingredients and space left in your mould, keep adding layers but save the rest of your porcini stuffing for the last layer. Take a small jug of water and a brush and lightly coat the visible dough with water.
Take your remaining pastry, and save a small section for decoration. Lightly coat a flat surface with flour and roll out your larger section of pastry to 1 cm thick. Roll it over the rolling pin and place it on top of your pie mould. Cut the excess dough off of the edges so it doesn’t hang over the edge.
Pinch the edges of the dough with your forefinger and thumb of one hand and forefinger of the other hand to crimp. Make a small hole in the middle of the lid and leave the pie to chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the small section you had saved and cut it into leaf shapes using a small knife. Pinch the edges with your fingers and lightly cut grooves into the leaves with a small, sharp knife. Put the pie mould in a roasting tin and leave it to cook in your preheated oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove it from the oven, separate an egg yolk and whisk, before brushing over the top of the pie. Put it back in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
Remove your pie from the oven and leave in the pie mould to cool for half an hour.
Unclip your pie mould and gently remove it from around your pie. Voila! A thing of beauty.
If serving a group of people or dinner party, I think it’s quite nice to bring it to the table before cutting slices, as it gives the full effect. I served mine with a small, buttered jacket potato. It will also last a while in the fridge and is very tasty cold.