Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Cauliflower Steak and Stilton Pie

I know purists will be throwing their arms in the air in disbelief, but hey if celebrity chefs can mess with traditional recipes, so can home cooks, even those who love their veggies. 

'Steak and Stilton Pie' is a meat pie.  It can be found at many Blighty pubs who often offer it on their menu for evening suppers.  It is often enjoyed with a pint of beer or a dark ale.  Vegetarians have gone a step further, replacing the beef steak with mushrooms.  Why not - mushrooms are the natural meat of the vegetarian world.  Its makes a fine vegetarian supper indeed.  This afternoon though, I decided to take the vegetarian 'Mushroom Steak and Stilton Pie' another step forward, and make it with cauliflower steaks.  A cauliflower steaks is simply a large cauliflower cut into thick slices, and cooked either in the oven; or a wide frying pan with little olive oil until cooked through and golden on both sides.  You can also do this with Romenesco, yellow and purple cauliflower if your blessed to find them.

I was introduced to Cauliflower Steaks about 3-4 years ago.  It was then seen as a hearty vegan alternative to pan-fried meat.  As you can see, its quite simple to make if you want to try.  I''d encourage even those of you who like your meat to try it, you can still enjoy this it as a side veg. 

Anyway, the idea for this 'Cauliflower Steak and Stilton Pie' came to me yesterday after catching up with some of my blog reads.  I was going to make a Cauliflower Soup with the second cauliflower that D picked up - actually it was going to be a twist on 'Broccoli and Stilton Soup', but then I changed my mind and decided to encase it in a shortcrust pastry.  The result – good, very good - an excellent verdict from a person whose not that keen on cauliflower.
Raw Shortcrust Pastry
You will have to forgive me for not showing you the Cauliflower Steak and Stilton filling.  Lighting is so bad in the evenings, that even the shortcrust pastry pictures here are not that great.  A shame really, as its made by my cold hands.  I even played with my letter cookie cutter set with the remaining pastry trimmings.  I think the last time I got to use the cookie cutter set was when I made a Cabbage Pie.   I do hope you get the idea of what the filling is like: cauliflower dyed tomato red and funked up with stinky blue cheese.  If you wish you can make this in advance and assemble it when you want to eat it. Then it can be served right from the oven to the table, hot with a golden crust - just like they do in the pubs! 

I've made one large pie here, but if you have individual pie dishes, then you can definitely make four of these. This will be our evening meal tomorrow too.
Shortcrust Pastry Cooked
Cauliflower Steaks and Stilton Pie
Serves 4-6
For the pastry
225g plain flour
100g butter
1 egg
About 2 – 3 tablespoons milk to bind
1 egg, beaten for coating
In a large bowl combine the flour and butter until resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the egg and enough milk to bind.  Knead to form a dough.  Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

For the Cauliflower Steaks and Stilton Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 large cauliflower.  To mimic steaks: slice the cauliflower from top to bottom into about 4 thick slices, then slice again once through the core, so that they are quartered.
OR simply chop the cauliflower into bite-size florets, (please use the core too – it is very good).
1 tablespoon tomato puree
300ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
200g Stilton cheese, crumbled
In a wide pan, heat the oil and sauté the onions until soft, then sir int the florets, tomato pure and stock.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce has thickened.  Season to taste.
Pour the filling mixture into a pie dish, then scatter over the cheese evenly. 
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.  Roll out the pastry to cover the pie dish..  Trim the edges and cut a hole in the middle.  Brush all over with the beaten egg.  Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden.  Serve with mashed potatoes and green peas.


  1. I bet this is delicious! I love the idea of cauliflower steaks. I hadn't heard of them before but will be giving them a try now.

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. This pie sounds lovely and I will definitely be making this sometime.

  3. I love mushrooms in pies - this one is definitely on my list.

  4. I love the letters will have to get myself a set too!

  5. I appreciate this idea very much. I love Stilton. I love steak. For that matter, I love kidneys. Off I go.

  6. Love your "Cauliflower Power." I've got cold hands, too, but I'm actually pretty rubbish at making shortcrust pastries. They taste good, something just always goes wrong from an aesthetic standpoint. My grandma has the same problem, so maybe it's hereditary? :-)

  7. I actually just discovered cauliflower steaks (although I didn't know there was a name for them!) and I've been pairing them with slices of roasted parsnip and carrot to make "meaty" veggie sandwiches :) I love the idea of this pie and thanks for sharing!

  8. the cooked pastry looks good esp with those words on top....too bad u couldnt get a good pic of its fillings....:)

  9. It looks lovely.

    I curse this bad light in the evenings.....I wanted to see more piccys!!

    Our chickens are hating these short, short days at the moment. Out of about 30 laying girls I am getting half a dozen eggs....if I'm lucky....roll on Spring!!

    Sue xx

  10. I have a friend who recently published a vegetarian recipe book and it includes Cauli steaks. I had never heard of it before! I still have not tried it out but I will. Once again your recipes have my mouth watering :) ...and I don't even like stilton lol!

  11. thanks Hannah.
    Do hope you enjoy your cauliflower steaks!

    Thank you december.rose.
    Do hope you like if you make it.

    Thanks Magnolia.
    I will be making a version of this pie with mushrooms too.

    Hope you find a letters cookie cutter where you are. I will be doing a 'give away next year' and i will include one in there.

    Thanks Stephen.

  12. Thank you so much Lauren.
    I enjoyed putting "Cauliflower Power." - just a tad disappointed with the pictures :(

    I think making pastry takes time and experience, just keep trying you will get better. I certainly have.

    Hi JavelinWarrior.
    Oh so pleased to read that you've just discovered cauliflower steaks.
    I love the sound of it in a sandwich.

    Thank you HangKebon.
    Yeah too bad I couldnt get a good pic of its fillings, honestly it didn't look very good and the last thing I want to do is put readers off cauliflower by presenting it in a bad light - literally!

  13. Thank you Sue.

    Me too, I wanted to share more pictures, really - maybe next time. x

    I am sorry to read about your chickens too. Do you think its a seasona thing - the reason you are getting half a dozen eggs?! I think I read like vegetables have growing seasons, chickens to so with eggs too :)

    Hello Toru.
    It really good to hear from you. I'd love to take a gander at your friends recently published vegetarian recipe book. Can you give me a link to it/the name. I love l buying Veggie Cookbooks, but this year that thrill is on hold, so i just flick through the pages whilst at book shops. Hopefully this will change next year.

    Wishing you a Happy Happy Christmas. x

  14. You are a genius! I love the letters.

  15. Your really kind Kath.
    Thank you.

  16. This is so beautiful!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog...I will definitely be coming back here for inspiration. Can't get enough veggies. =)

  17. I love the cut out letters for pastry...have never seen them! Also, never thought of frying slabs of cauliflower as steak...great idea. Thanks

  18. Thank you Clair for repaying the compliment.

    Thanks Gardeningbren.
    oooh you must try frying slabs of cauliflower as steak, be an interesting change.

  19. I love that you cut out pastry to spell cauliflower power! :) Sounds delicious too.

  20. Thank you eat me delicious.
    Its a real shame I was not able to share the inside, maybe next time.

  21. I love this idea - was never that keen on mushrooms and don't understand people just wanting mushrooms in their veg meals but I just love cauli and it seems such a natural pairing with stilton - I imagine the inside might be less dark than mushroom but I think I would love the flavours even more

  22. Thanks Johanna.
    I do find mushrooms rather bland at times and quite a boring option on menu's.

    Yeah the inside is not so dark as mushrooms, but it had a ochre yellow to it, i will be making it again - so hopefully be able to show the inside.


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