Mushroom Puff Tartlets with Balsamic Spinach

For Valentine’s Day this year we cooked Mushroom Puff Tartlets with Balsamic Spinach. They are delicious and soo easy to make! It takes about 20 minutes to prepare all the ingredients and about 35 to cook it. This recipe serves 2 and it would go very well with steak or Salmon.

Ingredients:

100g puff pastry

1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra

1 shallot, finely chopped

100g chestnut mushrooms, chopped

1 tsp chopped thyme (You can use dry thyme too but the flavour won’t be as noticeable)

3 tbsp port or Madeira (or strong bodied red wine)

1 tbsp double cream

250g young spinach leaves

A splash of Balsamic vinegar

How to cook: 

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll out the pastry to about the thickness of a £1 coin, then cut out 2 x 12cm circles using a cutter, or by scoring around a saucer (I made them square because I couldn’t be bothered and it really doesn’t matter). Score 2cm from the edge and prick the pastry inside the border. Lift onto a baking tray, then bake for 20-25 mins or until golden and puffed. Press the risen middles down a little, ready for the filling. Can be made a day ahead, then reheated in a hot oven.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the shallots, then fry until softened. Add the mushrooms and thyme, then fry until mushrooms are softened and any liquid almost gone. Add the port or Madeira or wine, then bubble for 2 mins. Add the cream, simmer for 1 min more until the sauce is slightly thickened, then set aside.

Wash spinach leaves thoroughly, removing any tough stalks. Set the spinach leaves in a colander, then pour over boiling water from the kettle until all the leaves are wilted. Press out as much liquid as possible with the bottom of a saucer. Heat a drizzle olive oil in a pan, add the spinach and a splash balsamic vinegar, season well, then warm through.

To serve: Pour the mushroom mixture on top of the puff tartlets, you can have the spinach on a side as a main dish or do it chef-style and pile everything up on top of the tartlets. See both examples below.

Hope you enjoyed this, it is a truly delicious recipe!

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Minced Beef Pie

This tasty super-easy and economical pie recipe served with mounds of mash and peas and rosemary gravy will quickly become your favourite. Mouth watering!

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil

500 g beef mince

1 onion

1 tbsp tomato purée

1½ tbsp plain flour (plus extra for dusting)

75 g mushrooms

250 ml stout (or use beef stock if you’re not a fan of beer… who’s not a fan of beer???)

A dash of Worcestershire sauce

400 g shortcrust pastry (1 or 2 ready-made rolls)

1 egg yolk (lightly beaten)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 200 ºC

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and fry the beef mince for 4-5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns.

Dice the onion and add it to the pan, cook for 2-3 minutes, stir in the tomato purée and cook for 2-3 more minutes, then stir in the flour and cook for a further minute.

Chop the mushrooms and add them to the pan, also add the stout (of beef stock) and a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan with a lid and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Set aside and leave to cool. Meantime roll out the pastry on a floured work surface until it is slightly larger than the pie dish. From here you have two options:

  • Option #1: just turn the meat mixture into a one litre pie dish and gently drape the pastry over the dish.
  • Option #2: (you will need 2 rolls of shortcrust pasty for this option) Line the pie dish with one roll of pastry, pour the meat mixture in the dish and then cover over the mixture with another roll of pastry. 

Press firmly onto the edges, trim them and then shape the edges into a fluted shape.

Cut some shapes out of the pastry trimmings and decorate the top of the pie, sticking them to the pastry with the beaten egg yolk. (I’ve cut out lovely heart shapes) ❤

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Make three or four slits in the pastry to allow the steam to escape, then brush the pie with the rest of the beaten egg yolk and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Slice pie into wedges and serve with loads of marsh potato, peas and rosemary gravy. Delicious! 

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*We used puff pasty for the pie on this picture -hence the “puffiness” but it turned out as tasty!