50g/1¾oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
400g/14oz field mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
good pinch ground nutmeg
good pinch ground allspice
150g/5½oz goats' cheese, crumbled
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
salt and freshly ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease eight of the wells of a muffin tin with butter.
For the pie filling, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms, sage, rosemary, ground nutmeg and ground allspice and stir until well combined. Fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened, then drain away any excess liquid and reserve the mushrooms. Set aside to cool.
When the drained mushroom mixture has cooled, add the crumbled goats' cheese and Tabasco sauce and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Stir well to combine.
For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
Heat the milk, water and vegetarian suet in a pan over a medium heat, stirring well. When the suet has melted and the mixture is smooth, bring it to the boil.
Add the sifted flour and salt mixture to the milk mixture and stir, vigorously, over a low heat, using a wooden spoon, until the mixture is smooth and comes together as a soft dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until smooth and elastic, then divide into eight equal-sized balls.
Pinch off a quarter of each of the dough balls, roll each into a smaller ball and place all the dough balls onto a plate. Cover with a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out and set aside.
Press the larger dough balls into the wells of the prepared muffin tin so that they form pie cases.
Spoon the pie filling mixture into the pie cases.
Roll out the smaller, reserved dough balls into discs that are equal in diameter to the muffin wells. Brush the edges of the pie with some of the beaten egg, then press to seal the edges of the pastry lid to the pie case. Brush the pie lids all over with the remaining beaten egg, then cut a small hole in the centre of each using a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown.
To serve, place one of the pies into the centre of each serving plate. Spoon some of the pickled onions alongside and serve with a cold beer.
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