Once again it’s British Pie week here in the UK. So to celebrate, I bring you this super tasty and easy pie, perfect for a quick mid-week supper. Or make it to impress veg-sceptic visitors – the flavour will certainly tickle their tastebuds.
Why am I so certain about this when it’s just a simple pie….? It’s the tarragon. This leafy herb adds a wonderfully intense flavour which (in my mind) adds a hint of decadence. That’s as long as you didn’t overindulged on Ouzo on a teenage holiday and turn a slight tinge of green when faced with anything tasting like aniseed 🙂 . Turn away now, tarragon is not for you!
Part of the sunflower family, tarragon is a perennial herb that can be grown in the garden in a warm, sunny spot. The long thin leaves are quite delicate to touch; once harvested, wrap the stems in damp kitchen roll and pop them in the fridge. It is a summer herb, so I always have a pot of dried tarragon in the cupboard if I can’t get fresh.
Tarragon is associated more with French cuisine. For example it’s an essential ingredient for rich Béarnaise sauce – maybe that’s why to me it has decadent undertones!
Not all pie needs to be surrounded by pastry; using a mix of potato and carrot mash for the topping enables this tasty dish to be gluten free, and hassle free (if pastry making is not your thing!). There’s other options for the top though, like mashed parsnip, celeriac or sweet potato. Personally, I like the potato and carrot as the flavours are mild and don’t interfere with the yummy filling underneath.
You could of course create the mix and top it with pastry if preferred – check out my refined oil-free pastry recipe here.
For ease and time saving, I’ve used a shop bought soya cream. However, simple cashew cream is an awesome alternative – just don’t heat it too long in the pan or it will dry out a little.
This recipe makes two hearty portions. I like to serve it in individual dishes (as you can see in the photo) but one big one is fine. If you are cooking for more people, just increase the ingredient amounts accordingly.
I hope you enjoy this super tasty and easy recipe. And don’t forget – pie is not just for British Pie week 🙂
Broccoli, mushroom and tarragon pie
- 1 large potato or two medium
- 2 large carrots
- 1/2 head broccoli stems and florets separated
- 1 medium onion
- 6 large chestnut mushrooms or mushrooms of choice
- 1 fat clove garlic grated
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves or 1 tbsp dried
- 200 ml soya cream or dairy-free cream of choice
- soya milk for mash
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and dice the potato and carrot. Pop in a pan of boiling water and cook for about 12 minutes.
- Whilst the potatoes and carrots are cooking, remove any woody outsides of the broccoli stem and cut into slices. Slice the onion.
- Pop 2 tablespoons of water into the base of a medium-sized frying pan and add the onion and broccoli stem with a pinch of salt once the water bubbles. Turn the heat to medium and sauté for 5 minutes until both have softened. You may need to add a little more water from time to time to stop it sticking to the base of the pan.
- Wipe the mushrooms clean and cut into slices. Grate the garlic. Chop the tarragon.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan with a little extra water if needed and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the grated garlic, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes on a low heat. If the potatoes are not ready at this point, turn the heat off so the mushrooms don't get overcooked.
- Once the potato and carrot are nearly soft, drop the broccoli florets into the pan and simmer for another 4 minutes - don't over cook.
- Drain the potatoes etc and leave to cool for a couple of minutes in the colander. Pick out the broccoli florets and place on chopping board.
- Tip the drained potato and carrot back into the saucepan and mash with a little soya milk. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut broccoli into smaller pieces and add to the mushroom mix along with the soya cream and chopped tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well and warm through gently on a low heat.
- Pre-heat the grill to high.
- Pour the broccoli and mushroom mix into the base of two small pie dishes (or one larger one). Top with the mash and pop under the grill for a few minutes until firm and lightly browned.
- Serve straight away with a side serving of extra veg.