As this week has been British Pie Week, I thought it would be fitting to share with you two of my favourite sweet and savoury pie recipes!
Both of these recipes use a ready-made pastry but if you have the skills and time, you can make your own pastry from scratch.
The first pie is a delicious, filling, minced beef pie. Sometimes it’s difficult to decide what to do with a packet of mince, especially if you don’t fancy a cottage pie or spaghetti Bolognese. The recipe makes a large pie big enough to serve 6 people but you can divide the measurements to make smaller portions too.
Both pies can also be frozen so if you have mini pie dishes, divide your pastry and filling into these so you have your dinner ready-made for another day!
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 500g/1lb 2oz beef mince
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1½ tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 75g mushrooms, chopped
- 250ml stout or beef stock
- dash Worcestershire sauce
- 400g ready-made short crust pastry
- 1 free-range egg, yolk only, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and fry the beef mince for 4-5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns.
- Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes then stir in the tomato purée and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for a further minute, then add the chopped mushrooms, the stout or beef stock and a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan with a lid and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and leave to cool, and then turn the meat mixture into a one litre pie dish.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface until it is slightly larger than the pie dish. Gently drape the pastry over the dish, pressing firmly onto the edges. Trim, and then shape the edges into a fluted shape.
- Cut some shapes out of the pastry trimmings such as stars, hearts or leaves and decorate the top of the pie, sticking them to the pastry with the beaten egg yolk.
- Make three or four slits in the pastry to allow the steam to escape, then brush the pie with the rest of the beaten egg yolk and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown.
- To serve, slice into wedges.
For dessert, I recommend this plum pie. This serves up to 8 people but it is suitable for freezing too.
You can use any fruit filling you like in this pie – it doesn’t have to be plums. Rhubarb is in season at the minute so if you can’t find any plums at your local market you can always go for rhubarb!
- 900g plums, stoned and thickly sliced
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 heaped tbsp cornflour, for dusting
- 500g pack short crust pastry
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and put a large baking sheet in to heat up. Put the plums, sugar and cloves in a pan. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and the plums are juicy, 8-10 minutes. Mix the cornflour with a little of the juice, then mix well into the fruit. Boil for a few minutes and stir until thickened.
- Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a floured surface. Use to line a pie dish and let the pastry hang over the edges a little. Fill with the plums. Roll out remaining pastry, about 2.5cm bigger than the dish, then drape over the plums. Pinch edges together well, and then make a small hole in the top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place on the hot baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, and serve hot with custard or cream.
British Pie Week comes but once a year and it is a fantastic excuse to get creative in the kitchen and try your hand at creating delicious pies for dinner. Here at Bath-Knight, we get very excited about British Pie week and we have always posted different recipes to run alongside the week.
The theme for this year’s British Pie Week is a 60-year history of the nation’s favourite pastry dishes as Jus’Rol is celebrating their 60th anniversary. Our favourite dinner idea that Jus’Rol has come up with is a Best of British supper for every Thursday night. You can create a pie using your favourite traditional ingredients and make it extra special by using British produce.
It’s marvellous that such a simple, traditional supper has had a trendy reinvention over the last couple of years. There is a lot more of a variety in terms of flavours and styles of pies. Pieminister are more popular than ever with their inventive twists and modern classics. They have also recently brought out a range of low-calorie and healthy alternative pies – we can’t wait to give those a try!
Just like previous Pie Weeks, Annette will be sharing a couple of her favourite pie recipes tomorrow as part of her Recipes of the Week, including a sweet recipe.
Have you or will you be making pies for dinner this week? We would love to see photos of your creations.
Today it is Shrove Tuesday which is also known as Pancake Tuesday!
The reason behind eating pancakes is that traditionally, Christians would use up all their rich foods such as eggs, milk and sugar just before Lent and create a pancake with those ingredients. Lent is the 40 day period where traditionally, people would give up rich foods and fast. Now, only one vice is given up during lent such as chocolate or alcohol rather than completely give up meat, dairy and sugar.
Pancakes are great, versatile foods which you can have sweet or savoury but my favourite way is with good old sugar and lemon. Here is a very simple recipe for basic pancakes and although it says to serve with lemon juice and sugar, you can serve yours with fruit, chocolate or go for something savoury!
- 110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
- Cooking oil (to grease the pan)
- Lemon juice
- Caster sugar
- Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing. Then, make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs and make sure you get any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.
- Gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking. When all the liquid has been added, use a spatula to scrape any bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream.
- Drizzle cooking oil into the pan to ensure that the pancakes will not stick. Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter. 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It’s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
- Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.
- To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice.
March is the awareness month for both ovarian and prostate cancer.
Men have a 1 in 8 chance of developing prostate cancer at some point in their lives and all women in the UK have a 1 in 54 change of developing ovarian cancer.
Although cancer has no age limit, prostate cancer is more common in men between the ages of 70 and 75 and ovarian cancers occur mainly in women over the age of 50.
Charities such as Cancer Research UK, Prostate Cancer UK and Ovarian Cancer Action will be working hard throughout the month to make people aware of the risk factors, symptoms and the research that goes into the diseases. There will also be a chance to interact with the researchers and scientists and submit your photos of any events you will be taking part in through Twitter and Facebook!
Cancer Research UK also has their own events page where you can get involved in all sorts of different fundraising and charity challenges.
Both awareness campaigns are working to make people aware of any symptoms and the importance of going for their health check-ups.
We have blogged before about the importance of going for a medical check-up – especially later in life. The check-ups are there to make sure you are in good health and pick up on any conditions or illnesses that would either require urgent treatment or just need some long term management.
There are several different risk factors of cancer and lots of symptoms are similar to different and minor conditions. If you are unsure of any symptoms you have been experiencing recently, visit your GP.
A fish pie is the perfect way to get a nutritional fix and fill you up. Fish is rich in omega oils which are good for your brain, heart and joints while the milk and cheese has calcium and vitamin D are perfect for keeping your bones strong.
If you’re watching your butter and oil intake for health reasons, use low calorie cooking spray instead of oil and alternative spreads rather than butter.
You can serve with peas or any vegetables of your choice. This portion is perfect for one but if you are expecting company, you can double up the ingredients to make a serving for two.
- 600g skinless white fish fillets, e.g. Pollack, Coley or cod (or a pre-packed mixture)
- 675g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2tbsp milk
- 50g butter
- Cheese Sauce (homemade or from a packet will do for this recipe)
- 2 leeks, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC/Gas mark 5.
- Place the fish in a large pan and cover with water. Cook over a gentle heat until simmering, then partly cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Drain the fish, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water as this can be used in your sauce. Allow to cool slightly and then break into large flakes, discarding any bones.
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water until tender. Drain well and mash with the milk and half of the butter. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Prepare the sauce in a small saucepan, over a low heat, with the two table spoons of reserved water for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and sauté the leeks for 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Transfer the cooked leeks, fish and cheese sauce to a 900ml ovenproof dish and stir gently to combine.
- Spoon the mash over the top of the fish mixture and rough up the top with a fork.
- Place the dish on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Serve with your favourite vegetables and enjoy!