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Wild Mushroom and Grain Pot Pie

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When someone uses the word “earthy” to describe a flavour, what’s the first thing you think about? For me, it’s mushrooms, without fail, as much as their flavours can vary. In between seasons, nothing brings me greater comfort than a pie, but when I’m trying to go light on the meat, I find the options so limiting… until mushroom is on the menu. Whether they taste almondy, shelfishy or meaty, they bring so much satisfaction to a dish, and are one of the most sustainable ingredients on earth. And even though sorghum is originally an African crop, I haven’t worked with it that much, but I find its complementary sweet earthiness irresistible with this pie

Wild Mushroom and Grain Pot Pie with Layered Marinated Sorghum

Prep time: 1 hour plus overnight soaking | Cooking time: 3 hours | Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

for the sorghum

 200 g (250 ml) red sorghum

1 L water

60 ml fynbos vinegar

80 ml olive oil

60 ml grapeseed oil

5 g fresh thyme, picked

10 ml Maldon salt

10 ml black pepper, ground

for the brown lentils

200 g (250 ml) brown lentils

750 ml water

30 ml lemon juice

45 ml olive oil

45 ml sunflower oil

5 g fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

10 ml Maldon salt

10 ml black pepper, ground

for the mushrooms

60 g plant-based butter

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

250 g portabellini mushrooms, thinly sliced

10 g fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

4 sprigs fresh thyme, picked

5 ml Maldon salt

5 ml black pepper, ground

for the pie

800 g ready-to-roll puff pastry

100 g shitake mushrooms, whole

100 g shitake mushrooms

50 g plant-based butter

3 sprigs fresh thyme, picked

5 ml Maldon salt

METHOD

for the sorghum

Place the sorghum in a medium bowl and cover with double the volume of water. Cover and place in the fridge to soak overnight. Strain the sorghum through a fine sieve and rinse under cold running water. Place the sorghum and 1 L water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer gently for 2 hours or until tender. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the fynbos vinegar, olive oil, and grapeseed oil until fully combined. Whisk in the salt and pepper and pour over the cooked sorghum, add the picked thyme leaves and stir through and set aside in an airtight container or a bowl that is covered.

 

for the brown lentils

Place the brown lentils and water in a small pot and bring to the boil. Simmer over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the lentils through a fine sieve, and transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and sunflower oil until fully combined. Whisk in the basil, salt and pepper and pour over cooked brown lentils. Stir through and set aside in an airtight container or a cover the bowl.

 

for the mushrooms

Place the plant-based butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden in colour, add the basil, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

for the pie

Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C. Use a 15 cm loose bottom cake tin (8 cm in height) and spray thoroughly with non-stick baking spray. Take one sheet of puff pastry and line the cake tin, allowing the excess to hang over the edges of the cake tin. Evenly start layering with the lentils, alternating between mushrooms and sorghum. Finish the layering with sliced shitake mushrooms. Place the plant-based butter, thyme and salt in a small pot and melt over medium heat.

Once melted, use a pastry brush to coat the mushroom layer. Use the second sheet of puff pastry to cut out a 15 cm circle to place on the pie as the lid. Pinch together the edges to seal the pie. Use a sharp knife and cut a slit on the one half of the pie lid, and insert the bundle of shimeji mushrooms, ensuring that the stems and tops are exposed. Use the leftover puff pastry dough and cut out leaves of different shapes and sizes. Place them on the pie to make beautiful motifs. Brush the puff pastry with the melted thyme infused plant-based butter and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Place the pie on a baking tray and brush the shimeji mushrooms with olive oil. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden and crisp.

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