Monday, February 1, 2010

steak pie and Cockney rhyming slang


I realise I haven't reported on progress on the mill for a while. That's because - erm - there hasn't been any. Although we've been having beautiful sunny weather ...

... (first picture of snow on the new roof), it's been well below freezing - minus 10 today - and according to BB, (ahem) the tools stick to his hands! But here are our new doors and windows ...

So, in the absence of any building work, it's back to cooking.

I was a vegetarian for many years a while back and whenever the subject of what we missed from our carnivore days came up, my fellow veggies and I were unanimous that we would sell our souls for a bacon roll - or a steak pie.  A steak pie can make you do crazy things you know. My sister the journo likes to remind me of the time (in my veggie days) when I cracked and bought a steak pie supper from the chip shop, devouring it like a wild animal before practically holding her at knife point until she promised not to tell anyone. More recently I've been known to drag unwilling friends round more than a dozen pubs in Edinburgh at lunchtime in search of a pie and a pint. And it featured in the weirdest reply to caution and charge I've ever heard; a client, arrested outside a chip shop for illegally possessing a gun, told police officers: "It wasn't a gun. It was a steak pie"!

I'm surprised I haven't attempted to make one before. I think the pastry puts me off - I'm intimidated by pastry - but when I saw a recipe for steak and kidney pudding on Delia's website the other day (endearingly subtitled  "Kate and Sidney", if you can Adam and Eve it from the earnest Delia) I thought it was high time I tried. (Actually, Delia directed by Guy Ritchie might be a good bobble hat and scarf.)

I ended up not using Delia's recipe because it required steaming for five hours and I only had two hours before BB got in a right old two and eight from hunger, so the pastry recipe - which was lemon squeezy and turned out so well I couldn't believe my mince pies - is from Good Food magazine and the filling I just cobbled together. Jurassic.

Steak pie

Serves 6
560 g/1 lb 4 oz chuck steak
2 tbsp olive oil
knob of butter
2 onions, chopped roughly
2 tbsp plain flour
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried thyme
570 ml/1 pint beef stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

For the pastry
175g/6oz butter
225g/8oz plain flour
8-9 tbsp water
1 beaten egg, to glaze

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and fry the onions for 3-4 minutes. Add the meat and fry until it loses its pink colour. Stir in the flour and tomato purée then add the herbs and stock and season. Stir until thickened and coming to the boil. Cover and place in the oven at 350°F/180°C for 2 hours until the meat is tender.

Make the pastry. Place the butter in the freezer for 45 minutes. In a bowl, mix the flour with ¼ tsp of salt. Dip the butter in the flour and grate coarsely into the bowl. Keep dipping it in the flour as you grate. Mix in the butter with a knife until evenly coated with flour. Stir in the water to form a dough and form into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

When the meat is cooked, remove bay leaves and cool slightly. Take half the pastry and roll out on a floured surface to 5 mm/¼ in thick. Line a 1.2 Litre/2 pint pie dish with the pastry, stir the parsley in to the meat and add to the dish. Roll out the rest of the pastry and place on top of the meat and seal to make a lid. Brush with egg and make a couple of holes in the lid with a knife. Bake in the oven at 400°F/200°C for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden.


Lois B said...

Mouth-watering photos and recipe! I've never tried grating butter into the flour when making pastry, but it makes a lot of sense. I'm going to give it a try.

Sarah said...

Lois, I've never grated the butter in to the flour before either - but it works. Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Granny Stokoe would love this!

literarygeek said...

Oh, wow, that looks so delicious! BBC Good Food is brilliant for simple, but effective recipes.

I really need to make a pie too, as I've never made one!

Sarah said...

Literarygeek, The recipe for this pastry is so easy you will wonder why you didn't do it before. Happy cooking.

cj said...

Your pie looks the Mae West! It's contagious.

Kathie said...

We stock up on butter when it's on sale, then freeze it so it won't go rancid in the fridge. So making piecrust this way would be a snap for me. Next time I make a (fruit) pie, I'll let you know how mine turns out.

Do you think it would also work using the grating disk on my Cuisinart? Or would frozen butter turn soft too soon?

Pierce said...

Yeeeaaaaaahhh! I have to make that onbe. I showed my husband the photos and he said, "Oh my. Are we making that?"

So. I will be making that.

pourquoi non? said...

something which I came across when I lived in NZ- hilarious tho!
safer communities together... and yes, I shall be creating one of those masterpieces fairly soon...


Janet said...

We were just taught that pastry trick in class a couple of weeks ago and it works very well. I never could get my pastry to be light and flaky, but now I can.
This technique is amazing and has open up a whole new world for me. I've been making pies left and right.
Oh, the joy! :-)
I think I'll try your recipe this weekend.

Georgianna said...

Oh, golly, thanks for visiting my Flickr stream cause now I found your blog. I so enjoyed this post! If you can Adam and Eve it! LOL! – g

Anonymous said...

cor blimey. Took a butchers hook at this it looks bright and breezy . It would whistle and flute the old man

Andi said...

That pie looks HEAVENLY! My husband was a vegetarian for nearly 20 years, but started eating meat right when we started dating, thank goodness because I love meat! And meat in France is SO good, fresh when you buy it at the farmer's market - yum!

Coffee Maker ratings said...

Wow! This recipe is awesome! I have been trying to find a new recipe to cook tonight for my family and this is it. Thank you for sharing!