Happy New Year!!!
Usually I’m not a big one for resolutions but this year I have a list as long as my arm. They all boil down to the same thing really, ensuring that I make the time to do the things that make me happy in life.
One of the things which makes me most happy is food: cooking it, eating it, reading about it, the list goes on. That’s why I love writing this blog so much, it gives me a chance to savour some great eating experiences and to share them.
Towards the end of last year things were so manic that I barely found the time to eat anything interesting, let alone write about it. I’m therefore intending to make up for lost time in 2012!
What better way to start than a traditional new year steak pie. Now you make be asking what is traditional about a steak pie at new year but if you are then I am guessing you aren’t Scottish. In Scotland it is as traditional to have a steak pie on new year’s day as it is to have turkey on Christmas day.
I have some very wonderful friends who live in Edinburgh and last year they introduced me to this tradition. I immediately decided that I was going to adopt it (what could be better than steak and pastry on a bank holiday?) and as they came to visit me this new year, there was no going back.
The only real hitch with my plan was that in Scotland people tend to buy the pie from their butcher so it’s just a case of whacking it the oven. As far as I am aware, most English butchers don’t sell pies and in any event, I love cooking so why would I want to buy one?!? Err because you are bound to be hungover on new years’s day you stupid fool!!!
So despite a stinking hangover and a few blips along the way, I rustled up a very tasty steak pie for dinner last night.
Now, I do realise that I should have taken a lovely photo with some of the crust taken off to show all of the delicious filling inside but I am afraid that due to a severe lack of sleep and some serious drinking the night before, it didn’t even cross my mind. So this is all you are getting. Sorry.
I was recently given the Hairy Biker’s Perfect Pies book as a gift so I thought I would try out one of the recipes in there. I went for the superb steak and ale pie and despite the fact that I managed to put the mushrooms in 2 hours too soon, forgot the fresh thyme and made a hash of the pastry, it still tasted pretty delicious. Therefore I am sure that for clever folk, who actually manage to follow the recipe, it will be a total winner.
You need the following:
200g streaky bacon (2cm strips)
2 onions (sliced)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
850g braising steak (2cm cubes)
500ml real ale
500g beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato puree
3 sprigs thyme (leaves stripped)
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons cornflour mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
250g chestnut mushrooms
500g puff pastry
Here is a step by step guide – pre heat the oven to 180
1. Fry the bacon and onion until golden then add the garlic for a minute. Transfer to a casserole dish.
2. Season and brown the steak then transfer to the casserole dish.
3. Deglaze the pan with half the ale. Transfer to the casserole dish.
4. Add the tomato puree, stock, remaining ale and herbs.
5. Bring to the boil then cover and cook in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours.
6. Add the cornflour mixture and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.
7. Fry the mushrooms until golden.
8. Add everything to a 1.2 litre pie dish, top with the pastry and glaze with egg.
9. Cook for 30-35 minutes.
PLEASE NOTE ANY ADVERTS APPEARING ON THIS BLOG HAVE BEEN PUT HERE BY WORDPRESS AND NOT BY ME