Pork and mushroom pie with gentle spices

Cumin and coriander seem to be the two spices I reach for the most and run out of most often, they both go well with pork. The filling for the pie can be made a day in advance and left in the fridge, giving the spices time to infuse the meat. Then cover with mashed potato or buttery pastry.

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

To make the filling, melt the butter in a medium-size flame proof casserole dish, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cover and sweat over low heat for 5 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the cumin, coriander and pork. Toss for a few minutes until the pork changes colour, then add the stock. Cover and bake in the oven for 45–60 minutes, until the pork is tender.

While the pork is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan over high heat and toss in the mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes until they are pale golden. Add to the pork after it has baked for 30 minutes. When the pork is tender, remove the pork and mushrooms from their cooking liquid and set aside in a dish in a warm place. Add the cream to the juices in the casserole dish and boil with the lid off for a few minutes until the fl avour intensifi es.

To thicken the sauce, fi rst make the roux. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the fl our, stirring, and allow it to cook for 2 minutes then remove from the heat. Slowly stir the roux into the boiling cooking liquid. Add the chopped parsley and return the pork and mushrooms. Season to taste and spoon into individual gratin dishes or a large pie dish.

For a pastry topping, preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8. For a mashed potato topping, preheat it to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. For a pastry top, cut the pastry to the same size as the top of the pie dish and arrange over the fi lling. Make a hole in the centre for steam to escape. Brush with the beaten egg to glaze. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn down the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 and bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

For a mashed potato top, arrange the mashed potato on top of the filling and lightly score the surface. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling hot.