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Tuesday 30 March 2010

Pie of the Month - March

You never get nice photos if you just photograph your dinner. But we have a rule here not to waste anything, so pies get baked for dinner, and not at four o'clock when the light is good.

And we're back with the series you all wish he'd never started!

This month, I have once again left everything until the last minute, but you can't be mad and point waggly fingers at me, because I am only late posting this. I made it weeks ago! And the good news is that you could make these pies in a flash anyway, so if even I did leave it until the very last second, which I didn't, it still would have been OK. More than OK. Delicious.

As you've probably already worked out from the (awful) photos, this month, we are bound for Pot Pie Town.

I should say up front that I never would have made pot pies if it weren't for the fact that Lucy and Rish gave us pot pie pie pots as a house warming gift. I don't know if you can make it out in the photos, but they are Le Creuset. I have a complex and difficult to explain relationship with Le Creuset products. I seek them out. I touch them. I admire the myriad of colours they come in (not the orange ones though - surely a case where original is not best), and stare longingly.

Me in the pot. Upside down.

But no matter how desirous I am of the purchase, I never allow myself. Let's face it: they are REALLY expensive. Even the cute little silicon spatulas that say 'Le Creuset' on the handle cost a week's wages. So you can imagine my joy at being the lucky recipient of two blue pie pots. And just for having moved house! I should do that more often. (Obviously that was a joke. I'm not moving ever again, even for Le Creuset. It nearly killed me, it was months ago, and we still have things to unpack.)

Beef brisket was cheap when I was deciding what to fill these little pots with. I guess it always is actually, so don't think these are March-only pies. They are basically pastry topped stew anyway, so you can put whatever you want underneath and I won't mind. Yep. I am giving you free-reign over my pies. Enjoy it.

The pastry itself is puff. The bought kind. I was going to tell you that there's no point making your own, that everybody buys it, and then this happened, literally a day or so after I made my pies. But I still recommend buying your own. It is only shortcrust that you'd be a fool to buy. Homemade not only tastes better, it costs less too. If you're going to buy shortcrust, you may as well just pull a Henry Sugar, and throw twenty pound notes out of the window.

The collar.

Make these. You get enough mixture to make four, and one packet of pastry will do that many tops easily. You could also do just one big pie. Some peas on the side will make it look like you made an effort, except you won't actually have had to.

Beef and Mushroom Pot Pies

You will need:

500g brisket of beef, diced
3 onions
1 carrot
large sprig of rosemary
4 large field mushrooms
salt and pepper
1 can of Guinness, or other stout
1 tbsp flour

bought puff pastry

  1. Dice the peeled onions, and cook in a little oil over a medium heat, with a pinch of salt, for about ten minutes. Add the chopped carrot, and cook for five minutes more.
  2. Add the needles from the rosemary, stir, and add the beef, flour and some more salt and pepper. Then tear up the mushrooms, and add them as well.
  3. Pour over the stout, and simmer the mixture for an hour or so over a low heat. You can leave the stew at this point, covered in the fridge, for a day or so.
  4. Ladle some stew into your pie pots.
  5. Roll out the puff pastry, and cut circles to top the pot with (hint: use the lid as a guide!). Also cut a collar of pastry to attach to the pot - this gives the lid something to cling to. We all need that.
  6. Bake at 200°C for twenty five minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up, and golden.
  7. Serve with green peas.


  1. *Slaps own wrist* I admit that I've bough shortcrust in the past... but only because I'm bad, bad, bad at pastry. Butter all over the shop. Want to make this with soya because it looks beautiful. Puff pastry should be on the front cover of Vogue. Hawt.

  2. That's some pie... I had some Le Creuset casseroles as wedding present but am not sure I would dare bake in them with a pastry lid... they sit pampered on cushions like spoilt cats instead.

  3. Wow what awonderful click.the pie in your"pie pot" looks simply amazing.

  4. Gorgeous! So very yummy looking...mmmm. Not the best thing to look at when it's only 9:30 in the morning, and I have none of the ingredients and no way to get into town to get them. *Shakes fist* Damn you, Mr. P, damn you for your deliciousness!

  5. I'm fierce jealous of your pie pot, P.

  6. Sanjana - I'm calling you Sanjana Sugar starting from now.

    Sarah - I want to see them! Are they the ice blue ones? WANT.

    Simply.Food - Thank you!

    Erin - Time difference is an awful thing. I am always tempted by people who post at dinner time in the States. It's so mean!

    Ms. H - Well, we could trade. I have two. And I want your bowl. The copper one...

  7. Aren't you the clever one!?! I had never thought of using these pots for anything other than soup, but will now be expanding my repertoire with the Le Creuset pots for sure. Many thanks!

  8. I am eating a healthy salad right now but trying to pretend it is this god damned delicous pie! Yum.

  9. I'm getting into the whole religious Easter spirit by coveting the hell out of your Le Creuset.

    Non-beefy me can't really get into the spirit of these pies so much I'm sorry, but I do like how the recipe uses a full can of Guinness. I hate waste, and I'm not a Guinness drinker (although I would really like to be, for some reason) so I get annoyed when recipes call for 2/3 can or some such. Sure, I could scale them up but I use enough math brain in my day job thank you very much.

  10. I'm focusing on the stew recipe here Mr P (lovely as your pots are:)). As I loath beer, I wonder if this recipe mellows in 24 hours? I have found that I can tolerate beer based beef stews once a day has elapsed. Le Chasseur is cheaper than the other Le C, and I have some of both - equally as good for what it's worth imho:)

  11. siiiiiiiigh! such a beauty! i'm so jealous!

    i totally feel the same way about le creuset. i always admire but never purchase. when i'm rich one day, i will have an entire cupboard full! =) and you can come over to use them! hehe.

  12. Wonderful! As soon as I get a hold of some really good puff pastry i shall make it!

  13. Coby - It calms right down. The taste, I mean. I don't really like overly beery tasting stews much either, but the rosemary and also the goo from the brisket bones (well, let's be honest!) mask the beery fug nicely. I'dd add more veg to a stew version mind. Maybe some diced swede and turnip.

  14. THIS is my type of pie. I love the pastry top - it looks like a puffy hat. You have proven that savory pies can be cute, something I didn't believe possible.

  15. This pie looks great. Very impressive presentation. Thanks a lot for sharing your talent.


That's what he said.

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