Pie, Mash & Liquor – vegetarian style

I first came across pie, mash & liquor in the wonderful blog Spitalfields Life. This meal is an east London phenomenon, which consists of a meat pie, a pile of mashed potatoes, and a drenching of liquor (parsley sauce). And it seems to be accompanied, traditionally, by jellied eels. (I haven’t come up with a vegetarian version of this, but it would probably involve okra.) The meal is served in gleaming marble and glass pie shops, which I vow to visit one day!

I used a black bean and mushroom substitute for the meat. From the recipes I’ve seen, there’s a bit of leeway with different flavorings – it’s not as pure and simple as a cornish pastie, for instance. I added marmite, mustard powder, paprika, and beer, and the result is really delicious! I have made parsley sauce in the past, but I was in the mood for something different, this time, so I made an herbed walnut sauce, and stirred a big helping of pesto in at the end so it would be green (and tasty!!)

I used a hot water crust on the bottom and a paté brisée on the top, which seems to be traditional, according to some sources. But you could use one or the other. And I used a large-sized muffin pan, but you could use a regular muffin pan, or, to really keep it simple, just use paté brisée and fold them over like turnovers.

Here’s Dee Dee Sharp doing Mashed Potato Time

1 batch hot water crust pastry
pate brisee made with 1 cup of flour and 1/2 stick butter
1 batch roasted mushrooms
1 can of black beans
2 t. tomato paste
olive oil
shallot
garlic
1/2 t. sage
1/2 t thyme
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. mustard powder
1/2 t. marmite
splash tamari
1/3 cup beer
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 egg, beaten

1. warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add shallot – when it starts to brown add garlic, sage, thyme, marmite, tamari, tomato paste. Stir it all together. Add paprika & mustard and immediately add the beans, stirring well, so that the spices don’t burn. When the pan starts to dry out, add the beer, and continue to cook until the mixture is quite dry.

2. Put the beans in a bowl with the mushrooms and cheese, season well with salt and ground pepper. Add all of the beaten egg but one tablespoon.

3. Line your (greased & floured) muffin pans (or whatever you’re using) with hot water crust pastry by breaking off a golf-ball sized amount and rolling it into a rough circle, and then pressing it into the pan. It’s quite moldable, so you should be able to push it into the corners.

4. Fill each pie with filling, leaving a rim on top so you can connect the top to the bottom.

5. Take a small amount of pate brisee and roll it into a circle, place it on top of a pie and roll the edges together. They might not seem to go together very well, but if you mash them lightly but firmly with a fork, it will all work out when they’re cooked. Repeat for each pie.

6. brush each with eggwash, prick each with a fork.

7. Bake at (preheated) 425 for about half an hour till golden and crispy.

Serve with mashed potatoes and parsley sauce. (basically a bechamel made with broth instead of milk, infused with parsley and blended)

Or herbed walnut sauce

2 cups milk
1 clove garlic
rosemary/thyme/sage/2 bay leaves.
1 T flour
1 1/2 T. butter
1/3 cups walnuts
salt/pepper
1 large dollop pesto

Warm the milk with the garlic and herbs. Set it aside while you melt the butter in a large frying pan. After a minute or two, just as it starts to brown, add the flour, stir for a minute or two, and then whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cook for 20 minutes to half an hour. Remove the bay leaves and blend till smooth. Stir in the pesto. And serve!!

Herbed walnut sauce w/pesto

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3 thoughts on “Pie, Mash & Liquor – vegetarian style

  1. Hi Claire/Steen – Cauliflower here, ex RR. I was in a pie and mash shop dahn Roman Road only last week, though I’d let you know – if you’re in London before Easter next year I’ll take you for pie and liquor. And I absolutely LOVE Spitalfields Life – it’s my manor, celebrating the streets where I love and the people I say hello to – I’m amazed and delighted you’ve found it. Best wishes, Joanna

  2. Cauliflower! Absolutely delighted to hear from you!! I would love to take you up on the offer. I’m not sure I’ll get there as soon as that, but we’ve taken a pact to get there eventually! I told the gentle author at Spitalfields Life that I’d linked to them, and I got an email back! It felt like contact with a celebrity!

    I sincerely hope to meet up with you at a pie, mash & liquor shop in East London sometime soon.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. Pingback: Hot water crust pastry – vegetarian style | Out of the Ordinary

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