The Woolton Pie is a savoury pie of root vegetables with a whole-wheat crust, promoted by Lord Woolton, the head of the Ministry of Food in wartime Britain. Evidently, the British public weren’t that fond of the bland flavour of the pie due to rationing of other ingredients at the time. That can be easily remedied - add extra herbs, chopped spring onions, choose equal amounts of vegetables so one flavour does not overpower the other, add a little tasty cheddar cheese, fry off some chopped bacon or pancetta, but for the real secret – cut faster cooking vegetables slightly larger and add vegetables at different times during the initial cooking to prevent them becoming too soft.
|2 cups||Wholemeal flour|
|2 tsp||Baking powder|
|100 g||Cold butter, diced|
|115 g||Mashed potato, cold (about 3/4 of a cup)|
|2 Tbsp||Cold water|
|¼ cup||Milk, or egg wash, to glaze|
|¼ cup||Extra virgin olive oil|
|1||Onion, finely sliced|
|1 ⅔ kgs||Mixed vegetables, such as potatoes, parsnips, carrots, orange kumara and cauliflower, peeled and cut into 3cm dice or small florets (Main)|
|2 ½ cups||Vegetable stock, hot|
|1 splash||Worcestershire sauce|
|1 Tbsp||Rolled oats|
|1 tsp||Salt and pepper|
|3 Tbsp||Flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped|
- To make the pastry, place the flour, baking powder and salt in a foodprocessorand process for 10 seconds, to sift. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the mashed potato and cold water. Process until the pastry just begins to cometogether, butdoes not form a lump. Tip out onto alightly-flouredbench top and bring together. Wrap and put in the fridge for an hour.
- Make the filling:heat the olive oil in a large, wide saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and bay leaf and cook gently until the onion softens and begins tocaramelise, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and parsnips, stir to coat in oil, then pour in enough stock to barely cover, along with the rolled oats. Increase the heat to bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and orange kumara and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cauliflower florets. Add Worcestershire sauce, stir and taste. Season with salt and pepper as needed, then set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Have ready a 6-cup capacity pie dish.
- Place cooled vegetables in the pie dish (the dish should be well filled with the vegetables piled up), along with a little of the liquid to moisten and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.
- Roll out the pastry until it will cover the top of the pie dish, the pastry should be a thin layer. Place on top and trim away any overhanging pastry, press down on the edges and crimp, if wished. Make 2-3 slits in the pastry to release steam and brush with a little milk or egg wash.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is well- browned. Serve pie with gravy and a big bowl of steamed greens.
- To make the gravy,reduce mushroom or meat stock to concentrate it a little, then thicken with a butter and flour paste to give you a gravy consistency. Add any remaining stock from cooking the vegetables too.
- If using water to cook vegetables rather than stock,flavourwith Vegemite or Marmite.
- Other vegetables to include–swede, turnip, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes.