Inspired by the turkey leftovers pie, I decided to embark on creating a vegetarian equivalent. The way the leeks were prepared in Jamie Oliver’s pie was fantastic. Rather than blanched, the leeks were sauteed in a little olive oil over the course of half an hour, to draw out both their moisture and flavour. Using this little piece of Jamie-wisdom, you get very tender, and very tasty, leeks! So all I needed was a turkey replacement. An obvious choice was Quorn, or another meat substitute. But claiming to develop a recipe to make it veggie-friendly, I couldn’t help feeling that using vegetarian “turkey” pieces was a little bit like cheating!
So instead, I turned to beans.
Ingredients, serves 1.
- ½ leek, finely sliced
- ½ 400g tin cannellini beans, rinsed
- Dried chili flakes
- Clove of garlic
- Vegetable stock cube
- Enough hot water to make a sauce, roughly 4-5 tablespoons
- Dried parsley
- Cold water
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil. Add the finely sliced leeks; reduce the heat to low, and sauté for 25-30 minutes. Ensure that you stir them regularly – although the moisture from the vegetables will come out, it is important to make sure that they do not burn to the bottom of the pan!
- Whilst the leeks are cooking, make the pastry. Place the flour and the butter in a bowl. With cold hands, using only your fingertips, gently rub the two ingredients together, until they resemble ‘breadcrumbs’. Do this gently and lightly – with each ‘rub’, lift the flour and butter a little out of the bowl to introduce air.
- Once breadcrumbs are achieved, add small amounts of cold water and stir in until a ball is formed. Wrap this in clingfilm or silver foil, and place aside in the fridge until later.
- Add the sliced garlic to the leeks, and fry until the garlic begins to emit an aroma. Crumble in a vegetable stock cube, and stir to coat the leeks and garlic. Add the cannellini beans, and stir.
- Gradually pour in tablespoons of boiling water, making a sauce. This should not be too runny, but should be enough to bind the ingredients together. The cannellini beans should sit comfortably in the sauce, but should not be fully submerged.
- Add the chili flakes and parsley to taste, and remove from the heat. Transfer the pie filling into a pie dish. Roll out the pastry and tuck over the pie filling, then brush with milk and score.
- Place in the oven, and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden.