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Festive Vegetable Pie

Packed with chestnuts, stuffing balls and a feast of wintery vegetables, this delicious pie makes a perfect main dish for a special gathering.

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1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons olive oil
60 g (2 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
250 g (8 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
5 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
Grated rind of 1 orange
Salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten


500 g (1 lb) leeks
500 g (1 lb) turnips
500 g (1 lb) carrots
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons plain flour
300 ml ( pint) white wine
900 ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
1 large parsnip
250 g (8 oz) button mushrooms
250 g (8 oz) can whole chestnuts
750 g (1 lb) puff pastry
Beaten egg, to glaze


Serves: 7


1 To make the stuffing balls, finely chop onion and crush garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan. Add onion and garlic and fry gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, breadcrumbs, herbs, orange rind, salt and pepper.

2 Leave to cool slightly then stir in the beaten egg until evenly combined. Shape mixture into 2.5 cm (1 in) balls. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan and fry stuffing balls for about 10 minutes, turning frequently, until golden then drain.

3 To make the pie, trim leeks and cut into 1 cm (½ in) chunks. Cut turnips into chunks and thickly slice carrots. Heat oil in a large saucepan and fry leeks, turnips and carrots for 3 minutes.

4 Stir in the flour, then gradually blend in wine and stock. Add bay leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until vegetables are softened.

5 Meanwhile, thickly slice parsnip. Add parsnip, mushrooms and chestnuts to pan. Season with salt and pepper then leave to cool.

6 Using a slotted spoon, turn the vegetables into a large, deep pie dish. Arrange the stuffing balls over vegetables. Pour over enough of the juices to two-thirds fill dish. (Keep any remaining juices to reheat and serve separately).

7 Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F/ Gas 6). Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a round or oval 7.5 cm (3 in) larger than pie dish. Cut a 2.5 cm (1 in) wide strip from outside edge of pastry.

8 Dampen rim of dish and position strip on rim. Brush strip with water. Position pastry lid, pressing edges together to seal and making a small hole in centre of pastry. Flute edges decoratively. Make leaves from the pastry trimmings and use to garnish the top of the pie.

9 Brush with beaten egg and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C (325°F/Gas 3). Bake for a further 30 minutes, covering with foil if overbrowning. Serve hot.

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