Seasonal Favourite – Mushroom, Stilton & Chestnut Pie

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I’ve trawled shelves and the web seeking the original copy of this recipe – thought it was ‘A Delia’ as it emerged around the same time as another Winter family favourite –  Delia’s Venison Braised in Blackfriars Porter & Port with Pickled Walnuts that was in a Sainsbury’s magazine in the ’90’s.  So – we’re going back a bit.

Thanks to Julia Rees (see comments) I now know it was by Bill Sewell and published with other recipes using British cheeses in the November 1995 BBC Good Food Vegetarian Magazine.

The dish first graced our table as a Christmas vegetarian alternative thanks to my mum, and has become a firm favourite with veges and carnivores alike.  I cooked it for dinner the other night taking some quick photos as I did – so this is a purely instructional recipe blog – no tasteful Christmas background or careful camerawork here!

Just a couple of notes on the dish.  It works best with a mix of field & closed cap mushrooms, sliced thickly. It has a liquid sauce – and the amount you get will vary with the liquid the mushrooms release.  However if you’d prefer something a bit thicker add a little cornflower to thicken it towards the end of the simmering time (take a bit of the liquid out – mix cornflour into it, then add the emulsion into the pot – this will reduce risk of lumps).

Ingredients & Method

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 680 g mushrooms  closed cap/field
  • 120ml stout ( I use Mackesons)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses sugar
  • 240g cooked chestnuts
  • 125g Stilton or Shropshire Blue cheese
  • 240g puff pastry
  • An egg yolk.

Preheat oven – 200C, Gas 6.

  1. Heat butter & oil, add onion & garlic and cook gently for 5 mins
  2. Add mushrooms – cook 5-7 mins until mushrooms give off juices.
  3. Add stout, sugar, chestnuts.  Bring to boil, then simmer gently for 15 mins.
  4. Take off heat, stir in cheese.
  5. Put in pie dish (1 litre/2 pints).  Roll out pastry, place on top of dish, trim edges & brush with egg yolk.
  6. Bake 25 mins.

Bill Sewell is a food writer, blogger & restaurateur. He owns Café@All Saints, Hereford & Michaelhouse Café, Cambridge, cafes in the extraordinary surroundings of working churches. Bill describes himself as an ‘obsessive searcher for unpretentious & delicious food’ and writes Bill’s Blog.

Here’s a picture of the now very retro looking magazine the recipe was first published in, thanks Julia!

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