Sunday, October 10, 2010

First day of Term Four! ... And pie

We shan't talk about school. Not interesting and more than slightly stressy, though my fancy, newly renovated classroom may merit a photo or two when I get some pictures on the walls and some boxes emptied.

Remember yesterday, when I marvelled at Miss Three's incredible behaviour whilst out and about? It was a ruse. Her and Caleb were just tag-teaming rascal-ness. Today I was informed that I was NOT going to her birthday party (through a slammed bedroom door, even) though when I snarkily informed her that Daddy doesn't know how to make fun cakes, I was re-invited ;) Phew. It's a tough life being a mean Mummy sometimes.

Anyway, my ghastly day made me think about pastry a lot, so I was DELIGHTED to find a packet of pre-rolled flaky pastry sheets in the freezer. So delighted that I promptly thawed them and used one sheet to make yummy, twisty, pestoey, parmesany cheesy things for afternoon tea. The packet said they contained 30% less fat, so that should mean that I can have 30% more, right? Did anyway. Made pie for dinner after that. It was goooooooooood!

I am very fond of Sophie Gray, the Destitute Gourmet. I think my husband is, too, because since I began using her recipes, I discovered I loved cooking! I think he is hoping that there is a housework version of her that might inspire me also, but I don't like his chances. The pie recipe I am posting below (I am allowed to do that, right?) is from her 'Everyday' cookbook, and it really is yum. I cheated and used frozen pastry (**sigh - yes, I know, but sometimes I need fast pastry and can't cope with the flaffing about with grating butter etc that comes with making it from scratch. So there. Besides, the frozen stuff has 30% less fat, remember? Makes it okay**) so I didn't bother with the pastry part tonight...

Plymouth Pie
Serves 4-6

1 tbsp oil

1 brown onion, chopped
700g lean minced beef (I used about 300g and a couple of handfuls of red lentils that I boiled first - NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use more than 400g of mince in a meal - stingey, eh?)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp plain flour
250ml beef stock plus 1 beef stock cube (I use GF beef stock, and just use a heaped tsp, which makes it strong enough)
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
4 tbsp tomato sauce
pinch of mixed herbs
3/4 cup peas (I used frozen corn too)
salt & pepper

Pie crust

1 1/4 cups plain flour
170g butter
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cold water
egg for glazing

To make the pie crust - Mix butter into flour with your fingertips, add the salt and cold water until the mixture comes together. You may not need all of the water (or maybe even a touch more) so add it gradually. Form into a ball, wrap in greaseproof paper and rest in the fridge for half an hour.

Filling - Heat oil in a saucepan and cook onion until soft. Add meat and brown it. Add worcestershire sauce and flour - mix well. Stir in stock & stock cube, carrot, tomato sauce & herbs. Simmer, covered for 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Add peas, season with salt & pepper and simmer another 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Roll out half the pastry. Line a 23cm metal pie dish with the rolled out pastry, then fill it with the cooled meat mixture. Roll out the rest of the pastry, put it on top, crimp the edges and brush with beaten egg yolk. Poke a couple of holes in the top for the steam to come out. Bake at 190 deg C for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Did two amazingly dumb things today. Please learn from them.
#1) Ensure that you remove rubber band holding slender stalks of organic asparagus spears together before steaming. Adds nasty rubbery taste.
#2) Don't drop shock / waterproof camera when USB port flap is open. It will break, meaning that a) it wasn't really ever shock proof anyway, and b) it is no longer waterproof.

Think I need to get over today. Hot bath beckons - after the dishes...

1 comment:

  1. Did you manage a bath in the end? Considering you posted this at 11:31pm!
    And yes btw (im just assuming you know all acronyms) I am only just reading most of your blogs, & kinda outta order, to catch up.
    Im totally riveted, keep 'em coming!