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Monday, 3 October 2011

Linda McCartney Mushroom and Ale Pies Review


As regular readers of my blog will know, I post a Meatfree Monday recipe every Monday.  Today however I have a delicious Meatfree Monday ready made meal solution as well as a recipe from me.  I was recently sent some delicious Linda McCartney Mushroom and Ale Pies to review.  The recipe is a result of the ‘Search for the UK’s Tastiest Meat-Free Dish’ competition run by Linda McCartney Foods.  It was won by home cook Kate Ford who came up with the fab recipe.

The pies are available in Sainsbury’s, they'll be available in Tesco and Asda soon too, and cost £1.99 for a pack of two. I think that the pies are great value as they are very substantial and delicious pies.  You bake the pies for 30 minutes from frozen, brushing the tops with egg wash or milk before baking, if you can be bothered.  They come out of the oven all puffy, golden and inviting.

The pies were very easy to remove from the foil cases once I'd baked them.  I served ours for lunch with washed salad leaves fresh from the garden and I must say the pies contained a satisfyingly decent amount of mushrooms, spinach and lentils in a rich gravy.  You could definitely taste the ale, along with all the other flavours, and the pies were very filling indeed.  

I highly recommend these pies as an easy Meatfree Monday meal solution and will definitely be purchasing some to keep in our freezer.

Meat Free Mondays is a campaign that was launched by Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters Stella and Mary which encourages the nation to help slow climate change by reducing the amount of meat consumed by having at least one meat free day a week.  You can read more about the campaign hereMeatfree Mondays is also on Twitter, tweeting as@MeatFreeMonday.


Lentil and Mushroom Quiche

1 cup plain flour

3/4 cup cottage cheese

2 Tblsp olive oil

250ml soy milk, or semi skimmed milk

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

8 sprigs fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried thyme

150g button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 cup cooked brown lentils (I usually use 1 tin)

2 free range eggs, lightly beaten

Put both of the flours in to a foodprocessor bowl and then add the cottage cheese and 2 tablespoons of oil.  Pulse a few times to combine everything and then add 1 tablespoon of soy milk.  Pulse again until the pastry forms a ball.  Wrap the ball of pastry in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest for about 30 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to a moderately hot 200C, and prepare the filling, whilst the pastry is rests.

Prepare the filling by heating the remaining oil in a frying pan and cooking the onion and garlic, over a moderate heat, until soft and golden before adding the thyme, mushrooms and lentils.  Increase the heat to high and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened.

Whisk together the eggs and remaining soy milk.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is (12 inches) 30cm round.  Press into a 22 cm (9 inch) flan tin.  Bake blind in the oven for 10 minutes.

After blind baking the pastry for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and remove the baking paper and baking beans.  Spoon the mushroom mixture into the pastry shell.  Place the flan on a baking tray and then pour in the egg mixture.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until the filling has set.

Serve with a large green salad or steamed seasonal greens as lunch or dinner.

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