Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Easy peasy pie

I THOUGHT I would do another easy peasy recipe which I learned recently and thought I would share it with you. There is just one rule it has to be called Sheila's Pie after Tetra's Mum Sheila who shared her recipe with me.

It was over at Tetra's flat one night when she reheated up her Mum's much-loved mince steak pie and it was wonderful.

I have never managed pastry apart from my easy peasy pizza of course so I asked her to ask her Mum Sheila how she did it. The only problem was Sheila does it all by sight so she would have to stop and measure it all and she did.

So here it is, only my photo-step shows steak pieces pie but I will tell you how to do the mince one which is delicious AND apple-pie which I haven't yet tried.

Measure 8oz of self-raising flour, place in a mixing bowl and add 2.5oz of Echo margarine and 2oz of whitecap lard (being in Dublin I couldn't get these brands and I do not know whether or not it makes a difference to the taste I don't think so).

Sheila Pie

Then mix together into breadcrumbs, use your fingers to work through the marg, lard and flour, sprinkling down on top of the bowl (ehm for lightness I think).

Sheila Pie

Would you believe I forgot an important step, open the wine!

Sheila Pie

Then you add half a mug of cold water and mix into a dough. If it is too sticky add a little more flour.

While all this is going on you could be frying up your onions.

Sheila Pie

When your onions are sauteed enough, take off the heat and set to the side.

Now this is where I did steak pieces. I bought round steak, thought I may experiment with more things, I figured stewing steak would take too long. I cut the steak into pieces and fryed until all pieces were brown.

Sheila Pie

If you would like to try the minced steak version, after you fry your onions and set to the side, fry off your mince (we used just under a pound in both cases, steak and mince steak - ehm I think 454 grams-ish but you will know what is too much) in a little water. Then when browned off drain off and mix with the onions.

Then get your pastry and place on a well-floured surface and cut in half. (I don't know if I am wrong or right but I do little kneading, just until it is bound together.)

Sheila Pie Sheila Pie

Roll your pastry out flat and large enough to cover the pyrex plate you are going to place it on, then trim around the side of the plate with a knife to get rid of the excess pastry.

Sheila Pie Sheila Pie

Once you have covered the plate, add some gravy granules to your ingredients, but if you do not like the thought of that, you could add some cornflour mixed with a little water to your ingredients and mix well. You may see in the pic I also added some mushrooms to my steak pie which I fried off after frying the steak. Add your pie filling in the middle leaving just a little rim so you can join up the top pastry layer properly.

Sheila Pie

Then roll the second lump of dough (or is that pastry?) large enough to cover the top of your pie. Before you add the lid dab water around the outside of the pie. Then use a fork to bind the top and bottom layers together. To ensure the pie's success you must also make S and P from your dough scrappings to honour Sheila's great cooking.

Sheila Pie

Just to keep you in suspense as to how my pie turned out, I thought I'd show you a self-portrait of the aftermath of me baking, and this is just a snapshot, I was much flourier than this shows. I'll get the hang of this sometime. Cook your pie for 25-ish minutes at 190.

Sheila Pie

And here it is, was and ended up.

Sheila Pie

Sheila Pie Sheila Pie

It was delicious with mashed potatoes, gravy (I make a mean gravy) and garden peas. Perfect for wet autumn evenings like tonight.

(To make a mean gravy, fry off onions until burnt and I mean burnt, you could add red wine if you like, then add water and boil down. Sieve out the burnt onions, add some stock maybe from what you have been cooking but I normally save stock from Sunday dinners. I also at this stage add water vegetables have been cooked in like carrots or something, than add some cornflower mixed with water and thicken, yum.)

I have decided that some weekend I am going to make a load of this pastry and freeze it as I haven't gotten the knack of making it very quickly yet. You can also make the pie and freeze it.

To make an apple tart make up your pastry as stated already. Take three cooking apples and slice very thinly. Heat in a small taste of water until it bubbles and then remove with apples with a slotted spoon. The add two and a half table-spoons of sugar to the mixture and make as above. Let me know how you get on.

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cc said...

Oh Redmum, you're making me hungry and it isn't even lunch time!! Your readers might like to try this suggestion for a pie also:

Beef and Guinness Pie

1lb Steak Pieces (it doesn't really matter what cut of meat as the process will make them tender...read on...)

Half a pint of Guinness (not draught)

1tbls (heaped) plain flour

1tsp brown sugar

1 large onion

1 clove garlic

Mushrooms if you so wish

1 beef oxo cube

1 packet of puff pastry

2tbls olive oil

Add the oil to a pan and when its's good and hot add the meat and brown on all sides.

Remove the meat from the pan and place on plate.

Meanwhile brown your onion, garlic (and mushrooms if you're using them)

Add the meat and all the lovely juice that has come out of it on to the plate back to the pan.

Add the flour and stir it round until it has soaked up all the juice and oil and has coated the meat and onions.

Gradually add the Guinness and stir until thick but not too thick, add more guinness or a little water if it gets too thick. Then add the sugar, oxo a little salt and a lot of fresh ground black pepper.

Place the mixture into a heavy caserole dish and cook at in the oven for 50mins at a very low heat (between gas mark 1 and 2). It is this process that can turn an old boot into a piece of fillet steak!!

When your meat is cooked remove from the oven turn the oven up to gas mk7 and while it's heating up roll out half of your pasty and place it on the base of your greased pie dish. Bake the base blind (ie with something heavy on top of it like died peas wrapped in greaseproof paper to stop it from rising) for 15 mins. This ensures thet the base of the pie doesn't become soggy!!

Remove it from the oven, add your scruptious juicy meaty filling and the remainder of the pastry (with the letters CC atop) and cook until golden brown.

Now I know that sounds like a very arduous dinner what with the length of cooking time and all but at least the pastry is ready made and if you do something constructive, like post a new blog whilst the meat is in the oven, then it really amounts to no more hassle than any other pie...but it is heavenly and you'll love it!!

It's almost as good as your mum's spag bol!!

Red Mum said...

LOL at CC, excellent I will try that.. Oh and you also loved my spagetti whatsitsface!

Boliath said...

Looks deliecious rm, will have that next time I come to visit thank you very much!

Mr Gary said...

Being a vegetarian, I'm afraid I can't eat that pie. Oh, well...

Red Mum said...

Ah Mr Gary if you had read on, you would see that my recipe tells you how to make apple pies, and of course you can adapt the filling... You just can't have beef and guinness pie. Must think of a veggie filling and try it out on you the next time you are down...

Angelina said...

Mmmm, that looks so yummy! I'll have to give it a try.

RamblingMan said...

this is soo great - i mean from a guys point of view i think even i could manage this pie because of the great pictures - i'll send you a bit in the post !

Bill said...

My mother used to make the tastiest mince meat tarts. I'm getting all nostalgic now... where's the hanky?

But seriously, you put lard in your pastry? My mother never did that, so I don't think I could either. But you've inspired me to get creative in the kitchen again, so thanks for that.

Mr Gary said...

Redmum, Whitecap is a big slab of animal fat and I'd have to spit it out of the window. Alas! See if you can find some nice non-animal variations.

redmum said...

I thought I had replied on this before now, obviously not.

Yes Mr gary you are absolutely right and i should read my own posts more carefully.... Try substituting the lard with marg, I have been cutting back on the lard content cos I don't like the thought of it and I can't see why it wouldn't work.

I added the lard to be true to Sheila's pie which is wonderful so I figured it has a purpose but no amount of trying to remember Home Economics is casting any light on why lard is important...