Beer-braised vegetable pie

Beer-braised vegetable pie

I’m not really a fan of St. Patrick’s day. I’m not Irish, and even if I was, I think St Patrick’s day would piss me off, because I’m curmudgeonly like that. Plus I have to work in a pub-like restaurant on St Patrick’s day and I’m scared that they’re going to make me wear a green plastic bowler hat. They wouldn’t do that, would they?

However, everywhere I’ve looked lately I’ve been reading about mother-flippin beef stew, with beer in it. And it actually sounds kind of good. And it would make a lovely pie. And I had turnips and carrots and mushrooms whispering to me from my vegetable drawer. So this is what I made… It has a peppery crust made with dark beer. It has balsamic-roasted mushrooms, but cut quite fat and juicy. It has carrots and turnips braised in beer. It has sage, rosemary and thyme. It has sharp cheddar. And it has some toasted oats. It’s my nod to St Patrick’s day, and it is very yummy, as it would be on any day of the year.

Here’s The Pogues with Bottle of Smoke, because I love it and it’s stuck in my head! I like the idea of a bottle of smoke, too.

1 batch paté brisée, with lots of black pepper ground into the flour before you mix it all together. Use 1/2 cup of cold beer instead of water, and then add ice water as necessary to bring it all together in a workable dough. Refrigerate for a few hours before use.

10 oz white mushrooms, cut into quarters
a few tablespoons olive oil
a few teaspoons balsamic

2 T olive oil
1 shallot – finely diced
1 clove garlic – minced
1 t each, sage, rosemary and thyme
1/2 t. mustard powder
3 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/3 inch dice
1 medium-sized turnip, peeled and cut in 1/3 inch dice
1/4 t. marmite
1/2 t. tamari
1 cup dark beer (give or take!)
plenty of ground black pepper
1/2 cup rolled oats – toasted
1 egg, beaten
1 cup (or more if you like) grated sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 425

Toss the mushrooms with olive oil and balsamic. Enough oil to coat, and enough balsamic that each mushroom gets sprinkled with it. Spread them on a baking sheet, and roast until they’re brown, crispy and significantly smaller than they began. About 1/2 hour. Set them aside.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot and herbs, and cook until they start to brown. Add the carrots and turnips, and continue cooking & stirring, until they start to soften and brown. Add the garlic and mustard, and the tamari and marmite.

Add about 1/2 cup of beer. Cook and stir until the beer is thick and syrupy. Keep cooking till the carrots and turnips are quite soft. Maybe ten minutes. Add more beer as necessary if the pan gets too dry. You don’t want the mixture to dry out too much, in the end. Season with salt and plenty of pepper and transfer to a large bowl.

Mix in the mushrooms, oatmeal and cheese. Stir in all but about 1 T of the egg.

Butter and flour a baking dish with tallish sides. Roll out 3/4 of the dough to about 1/4 inch. Drape this over the baking dish, and press it down to make a smooth wall, putting a little pressure on the folds you need to make. Trim the edges all around to the edge of the dish.

Spread the filling into the dough-lined dish. Roll out the remaining dough to fit on top, and roll the edges to seal them. Press them with the tines of a fork to make them thin and pretty.

Brush the top with the remaining egg, and poke it a few places with a fork.

Bake at 425 for about 1/2 an hour, till the top is golden-brown and crispy.

Let it sit a few minutes to cool and set before you remove it from the baking dish.


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