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    Monday, January 30, 2012

    A Summer Stew-Turn that into A Summer Pie -My Word, What a Pie

    I have been watching a programme on Food TV Britain’s Best Chef, it has been fascinating watching amateur cooks trying out to cook the best Dish in Britain. One of the dishes I was intrigued by was a Yorkshire Beef and Pale Ale Pie.
    This short crisp pastry  doesn't brown up like puff pastry.
    There is no egg wash.
    Good for people allergic to eggs!
    It is fabulous though, very simple.
    This is how it looks.
    Of course it is the middle of summer here, so Beef and Pale Ale… not really appropriate!
    The judges all commented on the pastry, so I thought I would make the pastry and fill it with something more summer like.

    So I made a Mediterranean Style Stew
    I had some tomatoes and peppers, getting close to their use by date so I used them

    Basically a this stew is a Ratatouille with some beef, gently simmered away till the beef is tender and lovely flavours have developed.

    The pastry for the pie is very simple, but not exactly healthy
    I don’t imagine I would making it often..
    We all need treats.
    It contains lots of butter and also lard. This should make it very light and crisp.
    But let's attack the Stew first

    I actually used a Rosemary infused oil which gave extra fabulous flavour
    But you could add some sprigs of fresh Rosemary
    I also had some left over Rose wine in the fridge
    Nice light wine flavour

    2 tablespoons Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil
    I large onion chopped
    1 red freshly ground black pepper chopped
    1 yellow freshly ground black pepper chopped
    1 courgette chopped
    5 tomatoes chopped
    Sea salt and freshly ground black freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon sugar

    2 tablespoon vege oil
    300 gms thinly sliced beef chopped into squares
    2 tablespoons flour
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    300 mls wine

    Gently heat the Rosemary oil in a medium fry pan
    Add onions
    Cook till just soft
    Add rest of vegetables
    Season with S & P
    Cook till soft

    Add tomatoes
    Season with S & P and the sugar
    Cook about 5 minutes

    Place into a large pot
    Toss the meat in seasoned flour
    Then add vege oil to the fry pan
    Heat till hot
    Add meat and brown
    You may need to do this in two batches
    Don’t overcrowd the pan

    Add to the vegetables in the pot
    Add wine to fry pan to deglaze
    Bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes

    Add to pot
    Taste and check seasoning,
    then simmer the whole stew for about an hour very gently

    Gently being the operative word.
    Here's what happened while I was busy writing this copy.

    Oh dear
    I did save it though
    Your Mediterranean Stew is ready

    Now for the pastry
    I made a mistake...when I made the first batch it was a disaster
    I did it by hand and didn't add enough water
    I thought it looked too dry and I didn't trust my instincts
    Maybe it would be OK after it had sat resting in the fridge
     Oh No
    So I threw it away and started again
    This time I made it in the food processor
    and added more water than the recipe states
    Just do it slowly
    Test the pastry by pushing with your fingers, it should suqash up nicely.
    Not too much water or it will be tough
    Voila I did it...see how nicely it rolls out
    So here you go

    455 gms plain flour
    125gms butter cubed
    125gms lard cubed
    pinch sea salt
    60 mls or 2 tbs cold water (you may need more)

    Put flour and salt in food processor
    whiz for a couple of seconds to mix
    Add butter and lard
    Whiz till the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
    Don't over work it
    Add water a tablespoon at a time
    It will start to get together but don't let it go to a ball stage
    Push the mix between your fingers if it squashes together
    Its done
    Tip onto bench
    Form into a ball
    Wrap in Gladwrap and let rest in fridge for at least 20 mins
    Meanwhile heat oven to 180C
    Also grease your pie tins
    This makes 6 pies
    Cut off 2/3 dough
    Roll out cut and use to line pie tins
    Trim edges
    Fill with cooled stew

    Roll out the other third to make lids
    Place a lid on each pie
    Crimp the edges together
    Into the hot oven
    These pies will take about 25 minutes to cook
    I could eat both of those. God help my waistline though.
    Treat your self it's worth it.

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