Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Big Guy's Steak Pie

Well, more truthfully, my steak pie that I make for the Big Guy. This is rib-stickingly good eating, and definitely something that will light up the eyes of anyone coming in on a cold, wet winters evening. Pop off your shoes, relax by the fire, and enjoy with a glass of red wine.


This is the very basics of baking, the stuff that looks great, tastes amazing and is so simple that kids can do it with you and have loads of fun. Think of it as the next step on from Rice Krispie buns. Presuming that like me you’re using shop bought puff pastry that is. If you decide to do it from scratch well, it’s a bit more like advanced mathematics!
I’ve included 3 different types of filling here, but there’s loads more out there to try.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

This was born out of the need to use of the last of a leftover roast chicken, and half a butternut squash that we had floating around. I know there’s loads of recipes floating around for Jamaican jerk but Levi Roots Reggae-Reggae sauce is gorgeous, but quite hot. You have been warned!

Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

I have to give Mr. Oliver props for this pastry, I have tried countless other shortcrust recipes, varying the sugar, flour, flavours and I always, always come back to this one. If you try it you’ll see why! I tend to make twice what I actually need, and keep the excess in the freezer for a day that I want pie and can’t be bothered making pastry. This recipe though is for 1 portion, that is, enough to make 1 large pie.

You don’t want to over process shortcrust pastry, it can get doughy and chewy rather than that delicious buttery, crumbly texture we’re after, and for that reason I’ve given the instructions for using a food processor. I find it helps the pastry come together faster, and by removing the heat of your hands from the equation you remove the chances of melting the butter. I sound like a nag now, so I’ll just get on with it...

Apple and blackberry pie

This is a somewhat bastardised version of a Jamie Oliver recipe. I started out following Mr. Oliver’s recipe, only to find I didn’t have all the ingredients listed, didn’t like the idea of whole chunks of fruit in the pie, and I sort of went off on a tangent after that... According to the Big Guy this pie tastes like a summer garden, and reminds him of mown grass and sunshine, and flowers swaying in the breeze. How very poetic! High praise indeed from the son of a baker! I’ve included Mr. Oliver’s sweet shortcrust pastry here as I’ve made a few different versions and I always come back to this one, it truly is second to none. If you are pushed for time or don’t feel up to making pastry from scratch, fear not! This recipe works just as well with shop bought shortcrust, but I would suggest that sometime you give making it yourself a go. It’s surprisingly easy, and crazy delicious. Seriously, the man’s a genius.

Apple Crumble

Apple crumble has always been one of my favourite comfort foods, and if you have ever had the real homemade deal you’ll know why. Crumbles and tarts are a great way to use up the inevitable autumn abundance, and since it can be prepared so quickly it’s a great dish to have up your sleeve to welcome guests with on a rainy afternoon. It’s too good to be kept just for visitors though, and makes a great fruity family treat anytime during the week!