The UK's tastiest meat-free dish is ...

Hearty Mushroom, Ale and Puy Lentil Pie
By Winner: Kate Ford


  • 10 small shallots, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 75 grams puy lentils (about 3 ounces), washed and drained
  • 150 grams of chestnut mushrooms (about 5 1/2 ounces), sliced thickly
  • 150 grams flat mushrooms (about 5 1/2 ounces), sliced thickly
  • 20 grams (about 1 ounce) of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 275 milliliters (about 1 1/2 cups) of brown ale
  • 200 milliliters (about 1 cup) of vegetable stock
  • 50 grams of (about 2 cups) baby spinach
  • Cornflour and butter made to a paste, to thicken
  • Ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 egg

Heat olive oil and butter in a pan, add shallots and cook gently until brown. Reduce heat, add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in tomato puree, lentils, flat and chestnut mushrooms. Turn up heat and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the brown ale and half  of the stock. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 mins.

Soak the porcini mushrooms in a cup of warm water for 20 minutes, drain (reserving the soaking liquor) and chop roughly. Add both the porcini and the soaking liquor to the pan. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, using the remaining stock or the cornflour and butter paste to adjust the consistency until a thick gravy-like pie filling is achieved. Stir through the baby spinach, and spoon the mixture into individual pie dishes. Brush the edges with beaten egg and cover with rolled puff pastry. Brush the pie tops with puff pastry and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until pastry tops are golden and well risen. Serve immediately.