Meat and Potato Pie
Hi GWS, my names AceClown and I'm going to show you how I cook a traditional English meal.
Or to be more exact a meat and potato pie with winter vegetables.
This dish came about during WW2 and in the rationing period that followed. To get by the very tight rations most homes grew their own veg in the back garden, the only things in this dish that would have been difficult to get are the lard and a good cut of beef.
So history lesson over, here's the cooking!
OK heres what we have..
- ?2.50 of good cubed steak
- A floret of broccoli
- 1 whole cauliflower
- 2 carrots
- 2 large potatoes
- Gravy stock (sorry)
- Plain flour
- A bottle of "Lee & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce"
- And the most obnoxious, smug, patronizing woman in Britain to help me with measures and times.
All local grown and sold locally, please try and support local growers where possible
Shall we begin?
Pre heat the oven to about 220-250. Place the meat in a deep baking tin and run in about half an inch of cold water in the bottom.
Sprinkle some of the gravy stock over the meat and add a few drops of the Worcestershire Sauce.
Add herbs to taste, I decided on the Thyme, but you could easily use a little basil or a few bay leaves to this dish (remember to fish em out after, chewing on bay leaves is not nice)
Place this little dish of wonder in the oven.
This veg has been home grown so chop into preferred sizes and wash thoroughly.
Place in a dry pan and leave for a while.
Chop the carrots into disks and place in the same pan as the other veg.
Wash and peel the spuds then dice into about 2cm square cubes, the trick here is to get them sized right so they cook just right in time with the meat. Mine came out a little on the soft side.
Put the spuds in with the meat, which should have been in about 20 minutes by now, and mix them up a bit.
Then put a foil lid on the oven dish and toss back in the oven.
Notes on veg: You can use almost any veg you want, I chose cauliflower and broccoli because that's what they had at the local shop. Turnips and Parsnips work well and add to the winter feel of the dish.
In hindsight it would have been a better option to put the carrots in the oven mix with the spuds.
Its also recommended to throw some white onion in the mix too, but no one I was cooking for likes onions (me included) so they got left out.
Oh Noes, Pastry Time
This is the bit I'd been dreading, I can cook reasonably well, but I can't bake for shit. That being said I had the delightful Mrs Smith to help me with my task
Put the right amounts of lard/butter/marge in a bowl with the plain flour.
Side Note: There are a bazillion different ways to make pastry, I just chose a simple shortcrust method and stuck with it. I'm not going to go into my measurements and things as pastry is a skill in its self and thoroughly derving of its own thread.
Plunge your hands in and start working it steadily together by rubbing through your fingers.
You should get a nice crumbly even mixture at the end.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water to the mix and work the water in until you have a playdough like feel to the mix.
Roll the pastry into a ball (if the surface cracks you might need a touch more water) and wrap in some kitchen wrap, place in the fridge for about 20 mins.
Its time to tidy your workspace and have a ciggie!
The Last Leg
Take the pastry out the fridge and roll out to the right size.
Take the meat and spuds out of the oven, remove the foil and transfer the contents to your pie dish, if you used bay leaves now is the time to take them out.
My problem here is that the dish was a little too big for the amount of filling I had used. Easy fix, use a smaller dish.
Top the dish with your pastry and pop the whole thing back in the oven, make sure you seal the pastry as best you can.
Start all your veg simmering (it helps if you use a kettle to pre boil some water) and leave the whole lot for 20 minutes. I used this time to whip up some gravy using stock cubes and granules and set some plates out.
Just keep an eye on the veg, if you over cook it you'll make it go mushy and loose all the tasty vitamins.
Then when its done serve and enjoy!!
OK so I need to work on my aesthetics.
And a happy customer giving it the 2 thumbs up!
So there you have it, a traditional English meat and tater pie with winter veg.
- I did screw up with the pastry for two reasons, I didn't make enough and it was too crumbly, cheers Delia you heartless bitch.
Hope you enjoyed my first time on GWS, see you next time!