My lovely sister was making me jealous with tales of the lovely harvest of apples, pears and plums from the surrounding orchards, down in kent where she lives. She suprised me this weekend by sending me a box full of plump, shiny, perfect chestnuts – freshly picked of course.
I knew exactly what I was going to do with them – make my favourite vegetarian pie. If you don’t have a lovely sister to send you fresh chestnuts, then you can sometimes buy tinned or vacuum packed ones locally or alternatively, buy them, dried from the wholefood co-operative. This recipe is taken from the BBCGood Food magazine. It is wonderful with creamy mash and sweet potato.
- 250g/8oz of fresh chestnuts OR 125g/4oz dried chestnuts, soaked for 6-8 hours
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 tsp/5ml dried rosemary
- 210ml/7fl oz red wine
- 300ml/10fl oz Marigold vegetable stock or water
- 25g/1oz butter or soya margarine
- 8 small pickling onions or shallots, peeled
- 125g/4oz chestnut mushrooms, wiped
- 125g/4oz button mushrooms, wiped
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2-3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 225g/8oz pastry. You could use Gluten Free Pastry.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Place the soaked chestnuts, herbs and 150ml/5fl oz of wine in a saucepan with vegetable stock to cover and cook until just tender – approximately 50-60 minutes.
- Drain the chestnuts, reserving the liquid.
- Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions until slightly browned.Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
- Add the chestnuts, the remaining red wine and sufficient chestnut cooking liquor to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes to reduce the liquid a little.
- Stir in the mustard, tamari and black pepper to taste and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Check seasoning and adjust as necessary. Spoon the mixture into a pie dish. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and place on top of filling. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden.