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Ainsley Harriott’s Mushroom, Kale and Chestnut Pies

Think vegan shepherd's pie with these hearty, mushroom, chestnut, and kale filled individual pies from Ainsley Harriott.

Introduction

These great-tasting vegan pies are full of comfort and goodness. I love the texture of the chestnuts and they add a sweet and buttery flavour that goes perfectly with the meaty mushrooms and earthy kale. A nutty and creamy celeriac mash is the perfect topping.

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Ingredients

500g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small celeriac (about 500g), peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tbsp vegan butter
1 tbsp plant-based milk
2 ½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
2 garlic cloves, minced
400g mixed mushrooms (chestnut, button), wiped clean, halved or quartered
20g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 100ml boiling water
180g cooked chestnuts, halved or quartered
A splash of white wine (optional)
120g young kale, stems removed, shredded
250ml vegetable stock
½ lemon, for squeezing
250ml oat or soya cream
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
nutmeg, for grating
1 tsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Essential kit

You will need: a sauté pan or deep-sided frying pan and 4 individual pie dishes or one 25cm pie dish.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

First, make the mash. Put the potatoes and celeriac in a large pan of salted boiling water and simmer for 15–18 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow to steam dry in the colander for a few minutes. Tip back into the pan and mash well with a potato masher or pass through a ricer for super-smooth mash. Beat in the butter and milk and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a sauté pan or deep-sided frying pan over a low-medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and cook the onion, celery and half the thyme for 6–8 minutes, until softened and lightly golden. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove from the pan onto a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. When hot, add the fresh mushrooms, stirring and frying for 3–4 minutes until slightly browned and softened. Reduce the heat to medium, chop the porcini mushrooms and add to the frying pan, reserving their soaking liquid. Fry for a further minute.

Return the onion to the pan along with the chestnuts and cook for a minute or two. Add a splash of wine (if using) and allow to bubble for 30 seconds then stir in the kale.Add the stock, a squeeze of lemon juice and the reserved porcini water. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, stirring until combined. Stir in the cream, parsley and remaining thyme, grate in some nutmeg to taste and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the cornflour mixture, bring to the boil and stir for a minute until thickened a little. Remove from the heat and spoon into 4 individual pie dishes or a 25cm pie dish. Allow to rest for a minute or two and then pipe or spoon the mash on top.

Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

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