vegan sausage and leek pie with greens
Sausage and Leek Pie

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes

Cost £4.50

Rich red wine & onion gravy, leeks sautéed in fermented garlic and rosemary and thyme sausages topped with a shortcrust lid. Bangin'.

Ingredients

  • 1 pack ready rolled shortcrust pastry Most supermarket pastry is dairy free. Check the label.
  • 1 large onion Preferably organic
  • 2 large leeks Preferably organic
  • 1 tbsp fermented garlic Herbie's Homemade
  • 1 tbsp yeast extract Supermarket own brand will do fine for cooking.
  • 1 pack vegan sausages Most supermarket brands are decent enough.
  • 6 carrots Preferably organic
  • 50 g refined coconut oil Must be refined. You don't want to taste or smell any coconut. If you can't get hold of refined (odourless) coconut oil, use rapeseed oil instead.
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed/olive oil
  • 1/2 glass red wine Cheap wine is fine for cooking but try and get a fuller bodied type. It makes a richer tasting sauce.
  • 1 sprig herbs Earthy herbs work best like oregano, bay, rosemary and thyme.
  • 2 tbsp plain flour You can leave this out but you will need to reduce the gravy for longer to get it to thicken.
  • 1/2 pack mushrooms Any variety. I used chestnut. Rinse before use.

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • Top and tail your carrots and place them on the oven tray with the sausages. Drizzle with some rapeseed oil and pop in the oven for 20 minutes. Check half way through and turn them all over before returning the tray to the oven.
  • Whilst the sausages and carrots are cooking, slice your onion and leeks and add them to a large non stick frying pan with the rapeseed/olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Sautée on a medium high heat stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes or until the leeks/onions are just starting to turn golden. Now turn down the heat low, add the garlic and allow to sizzle for a further 5 minutes, stirring to prevent them sticking/burning.
  • Slice the mushrooms and add to the pan. Stir well so that they are coated in the garlicky leeks and onions. Add the fresh herbs. Allow to sizzle whilst you line the base of a large pie dish with one sheet of shortcrust pastry.
  • Return to the frying pan and add the yeast extract. Stir well.
  • Next add the red wine and give the pan a little shake (not too hard) just enough to distribute the wine around the vegetables and sausages.
  • As the wine evaporates, add the flour and gently stir, coating the mixture.
  • Add a little water (around half a cup and stir some more to stop lumps forming). Keep adding water, a little at a time, until the gravy is the consistency you like.
  • For a richer gravy, and if using a 'dry' vegetarian sausage, add the coconut oil (no need to melt it first). If using rapeseed oil add around 1-2 tbsp. Stir well and keep stirring as the sausages and leeks cook in the gravy for around 5 minutes. You do not have to add any oil. This is entirely optional and depends on the type of vegetarian sausages used.
  • Remove the sausages and carrots from the oven and transfer to the pie dish. Space them out so that when the pie is eventually cut each portion will have some sausage and carrot.
  • You should now have a rich sauce/gravy. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you like it.
    Transfer all the contents of the pan to the pie dish, pouring over the sausages and carrots and cover with the second sheet of ready rolled pastry.
  • Bake for around 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the sauce/gravy is bubbling up around the sides
  • Serve with potatoes (I made homemade chunky chips) and green vegetables (cabbage, peas and kale work really well).

Notes

The trick to making a rich, hearty plant based gravy/sauce is to add just enough fat.
Stews and sauces that contain meat/dairy contain lots of fat, most of it saturated. If you're looking for a plant based alternative but don't want to compromise on the mouthfeel, you can add some refined coconut oil. I use it a lot to make meals that are winter warmers or generally meant to be richer in texture.
Remember the coconut oil must be refined coconut oil. It mustn't have any taste or smell of coconut whatsoever. 
Plant based meals tend to be much lower in fat and calories generally (although not always) and so adding a modest amount of oil shouldn't cause too much alarm,  but if you don't want to add it, or are using vegetarian sausages that already contain saturated fat, or need to limit the amount of fat in your diet, you can always leave this step out.
And if you don't have refined coconut oil you can use any other neutral flavoured oil, such as rapeseed. It still works but doesn't give quite as rich and velvety a result.
I use a lot of fermented garlic in my cooking. It is so, so good for you and takes savoury flavour to another level. Experiment and find the amount that suits your palate best.
As with the coconut oil, if you can't tolerate or don't want to use flour, just leave it out. The end result will be lighter and you will need to thicken/reduce the sauce by cooking it for longer.
Finally, you can't beat yeast extract (aka marmite) to flavour sauces/gravy. There's no need to buy an expensive brand for cooking (as opposed to spreading on toast). Supermarket own will do fine. 

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