Monday, 5 March 2012

A Post Originally Named Rainy Days And A Warming Comforting Pie...Now renamed Burnt Offerings Instead...For Obvious Reasons...

Now this post was supposed to be entitled, ‘Rainy Days And A Warm Comforting Pie'...

All was going so well...

Said pie was in the oven and I was typing up the post...and boy was I pleased with myself...well pride comes before a fall as they say...

As I wasn’t quite sure what temperature to have the oven on to cook the pastry top. I set it on 150C but after 10 minutes thought it wasn’t hot enough so turned it up a bit...then a friend telephoned and we got to talking...I do remember saying to her at one point that the pie smelt great but did I think to go and check it...


not until we finished which was probably an hour later...

and by then...


I had even done little ducks and umbrellas in pastry on the pie crust in honour of the rainy day...

But instead of a cheeky looking pie it looked like Mount Vesuvius had erupted...

May I humbly offer you what should have been my post...I have to say the pie was not wasted and was served with some steamed broccoli and the filling was still delicious together with its rather ‘crispy’ pastry topping!

Rainy Days And A Warming Comforting Pie...

As the daffodils fade and when you find yourself sulking indoors because your plans to be outside gardening have been thwarted by the incessant rain...and you really don’t want to face that pile of ironing...then thoughts turn to what to cook instead!

Comfort food seemed to be required, and what better than a nice pie...

There were a few mushrooms in the bottom of the fridge and some vacuum packed chestnuts in the cupboard.

And Bourguignon-well I did use some red wine which had been hanging around for a couple of days from an unfinished bottle and for good measure added a small glass of port again to give added depth.

 I did brave the elements and went outside to pick some fresh thyme and myrtle leaves. But- I’m afraid I have to confess-I used frozen puff pastry-shame on me I know...

Chestnut and Mushroom Bourguignon Pie

A little British Extra Virgin rapeseed oil for frying
1 large onion-roughly chopped
2 plump cloves of garlic-chopped
200g mushrooms-broken into quarters
1 large glass of red wine
1 small glass of port
200g vacuum packed chestnuts-half cut in half and the rest left whole for a variety of texture
2tbsp chopped fresh thyme
4 Myrtle leaves-please see my previous post about Myrtle-alternatively use 2 Bay leaves
800g tin plum tomatoes
200g frozen puff pastry

In a large pan fry the chopped onion in the rapeseed oil and add the chopped garlic and then the mushrooms broken into quarters. Gently fry until just golden, then toss in the wine and port and simmer for a couple of minutes to burn off the alcohol-the aroma should be wonderful! 

Add the finely chopped thyme and Myrtle leaves-or bay leaves if you are not fortunate enough to have a Myrtle bush.

Add the plum tomatoes and turn down the heat to gently simmer for 15 minutes or so... 

When all is cooked down to a succulent base, remove from the heat-take out the Myrtle leaves and transfer to a pie dish.

Top with the pastry and decorate if you wish and place in a preheated oven for...

...that I shall now leave to your own discretion...

Best of luck and may your pie turn out to be more picturesque than mine!

I did try though...

Off now to hang her head in shame...


  1. You just showed your human side. I once put something on the stove and was only going to step away for a minute, well the minute turned out to be a very looooong minute, I did smell something and thought what a delightful aroma, of course it never occured to stupid me that my pot is getting burned and I should get back to the kitchen, it was a total loss.

    1. Thanks Norma, I did worry so much about posting this but I’m glad now I’m not alone in having the odd kitchen disaster!!

  2. It still looks very tempting to me. I cook using a Rayburn and you don't many cooking smells from the oven ... my most recent truly burnt offering was a tray of cremated cherry tomatoes, onion and garlic which I had intended to slow roast as a side dish ... I forgot them until the following day.

    Lovely recipe, another one I would enjoy eating!

    1. Hi Elaine,

      Many thanks for your kind and supportive comments...I’m so glad I’m not alone!!!

  3. I too use frozen puff pastry quite often - sinful I know....I am also quite adept at burning things, a good way to test out the smoke alarms if nothing else....

    1. Hi Liz,

      Ah I remember was all planned all along to test my smoke alarms...thanks for the prompt Liz!!

  4. I generally enjoy things "Well done", (especially bread), but maybe not THAT well done. But look on the bright side: the photo of Vesuvius Pie is absolutely great. The steam (or is it smoke?) looks almost too neatly-arranged to be true!

    On another tack: I don't understand the concept of a half-finished bottle of wine that has been hanging around for a few days... Was it no good??

    1. Hi Mark,

      Thank you-that pie henceforth be known as the Vesuvius Pie with that plume of steam-I prefer to think of it as that rather than smoke...seemed to be rising and forming almost supernatural shapes-just to mock me of course...

      And the half finished bottle of wine...yes it was a rather nice Merlot...and horror of horrors I simply forgot it was opened...hanging my head in yet more shame...

  5. I like to think your pie is just well-caramelized! Delicious looking all the same... (she said, looking at a stack of "well-done" bagels). It may be the way the stars are aligning this week!

    1. Oh I like that description-‘well caramelized’...It was well and truly that!!

  6. Ah shame about the pie topping: umbrellas and ducks, i still appreciate the post as it shows real home cooking and what can go wrong.

    PS I am still trying to get used to my new oven. I made muffins yesterday and they top was too too brown, edible though. The smoke alarms are so sensitive too.

    1. Thank you indeed Shaheen for your very kind comment-I dithered and dathered about posting it but as you say, this is ‘real home cooking’...

      Really looking forward to seeing your new recipes-your posts are so inspirational!

  7. What's a bit of burnt pie top between friends? I certainly wouldn't have said no to a slice, it sounds delicious.

    Keep meaning to ask you how your chocolate course went?

    1. You are so kind! Actually it was still rather tasty...

      Haven’t been yet to the Chocolate course-but really looking forward to it- will let you know how it goes...


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