Growing up, pies were always sweet. Cherry, berry, pecan, or chocolate cream–anything sugary was standard pie filling in my book. Pumpkin or sweet potato was the closest I got to savory, and the thought of “traditional” (i.e. meaty) mince meat made me want to gag.
But when I got the chance to visit British (or British-influenced) countries like England, Scotland, and Australia, I realized the wonder that is a savory meat pie. (Well, veggie meat, that is.) They are a great wintry dish to comfort you through bleak days and bitterly cold nights. I might actually prefer them to their sweeter counterparts.
And you can put all sorts of things in them. Leftover stew? Chuck it in a pie. Almost off produce? Cook it up and throw it in. A few sips of beer left in the bottle? Definitely use that as well. Anything with lots of umami is great–mushrooms, bouillon, vegemite (like I’ve included here). Who knows, savory pies might become your new favorite pastry just as they have become mine. As fall takes hold, try this warm commonwealth classic for yourself.
Hearty Vegan “Meat” & Ale Pie
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Remove puff pastry from freezer and leave out to thaw for at least 10-15 minutes.
3. While pastry thaws, combine TVP and water in bowl and leave to soak.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
4. Heat in a large pan or wok on medium-high, and add soaked TVP.
5. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring well to prevent any clumping.
6. Press one sheet of puff pastry into the bottom of a greased or non-stick pie-pan.
7. Remove filling from heat and spread about 3 cups of it into the middle of the pastry (add more if using a bigger pan)–the filling should be about 1/3 higher than the height of the pie pan.
8. Top with second sheet of puff pastry.
9. Crimp edges, cut along the outside of the pan to trim off any extra bits, and poke 2-4 holes in the middle of the pie for ventilation.
10. Brush top of the pastry with vegan milk or butter and place in oven.
11. Bake for about 20 minutes or until pastry turns a golden-brown color.
12. Remove pie from oven to cool for at least 5 minutes, then serve.
Also by Quincy: Vegan Rocky Road Bars
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Photos: Quincy Malesovas