Scouring the freezer this evening looking from something for dinner, I came across the remains of my Mac ‘n’ Cheese. “Great” says Stuart we could make it into a big Pasty… great my lovely Mac ‘n’ Cheese made into a pasty. I did have some shortcrust pastry in the freezer (cheating I know!) and it needed using, so gave in and let him make it..
However, my brother-in-law Neil pipes up with – I am sure in Italy they have a pie with pasta in it. Really? Is that not a little carb overload? A quick Google later, and we find he is right and now we had a recipe in our hands! Although this one had a completely different pasta filling. So we freestyled it.
We rolled out the pastry and lined a rectangular dish, piled in the Mac ‘n’ Cheese, topped it with some lovely juicy, thinly sliced beef tomatoes, a sprinkling of parmesan (because we need more cheese). Popped on the pastry lid and cooked it in the oven for about 30 mins.
It looked and smelt great. Stuart then pipes up with – Shall I make some chips to go with that? Oh why not – everyone needs their carbs don’t they?
Or Pie Week as it actually is! In honour of this Week of Pie, for last nights dinner I made Minced Beef Pie. This, back in the day, made a regular appearance on our dinner table and its been a long time since I have had one. I didn’t used my Mum’s recipe for this (sorry Mum!) but Ruth Clemens recipe from the Great British Book of Baking
Ruth’s Beef Pie
For the Cheese Pastry:
225g Plain Flour
75g Salted Butter (chilled and diced)
75g Lancashire Cheese
1 Medium Free-range egg yolk
4-6 tbsp. ice cold water
For the Filling:
2 tbsp. Sunflower Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
250g Lean Minced Beef
2 Carrots, diced
1 Celery Stick, diced (I hate celery so left it out!!)
4 tbsp. of Ale or Good Beef Stock
3 tbsp. Tomato Ketchup
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper
beaten Egg to glaze.
20cm x 15cm enamel deep pie dish
To make the pastry, put the flour and diced butter into a food processor, blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
Crumble the cheese into the bowl and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs
Add the egg yolk and 4 tbsp. of cold water, run the machine until the mixture comes together to form a ball of dough (add more water if necessary)
Remove from the bowl and cut of a third of the dough for the lid. Wrap both pieces in Clingfilm and chill while making the filling
For the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and cook until soft. Remove from the pan
Add the minced beef to the pan and cook until browned.
Turn the heat to low and add the carrots and celery and the onions back in. cook until all the vegetables have softened
Add the ale or stock, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer until the meat is tender and the mixture is thick. Leave to cool.
When ready to assemble, roll out the large portion of pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle big enough to line the base and sides of the pie dish
Carefully press the pastry on to the base and sides of the dish, pressing out any bubbles of air. Brush the rim of the pastry with the beaten egg.
Spoon the cold filling into the dish.
Roll out the second portion of pastry to a rectangle to make a lid.
Lift the pastry over the dish and gently press it on the dampened rim to seal firmly. Trim off any excess pastry. Crimp the rim with your fingers.
Leave to rest for 10mins. Heat the oven to 190C / 375F / Gas 5.
Brush the pie with the beaten egg to glaze. Make a small steam hole and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 mins, until the pastry is nice and golden
Serve piping hot with whatever you fancy – in my case… mash and peas!