Various Pie Recipes

I have decided to try and do my bit to bring the wonderful pies I remember from my childhood back into fashion once again, so here are some recipes for my favourites:

All the pies below use shortcrust pastry, so if you make it yourself here is the recipe once again (of course you can always use ready made).

Shortcrust pastry:

125g plain flour (white flour)
55g butter diced into half inch cubes
30-40ml water (or as required)

Put the flour, salt and butter into a mixing bowl and rub into a breadcrumb consistency. Add enough cold water to bind the dough together, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and place on a floured work surface, flour a rolling pin and roll out to a thickness you are happy with for your pie; 2 to 3mm or 1/8 of an inch.

Once flat, place your pastry into the buttered rings or baking tin of your choice making sure no air is trapped between the pastry and the tin, make sure there is an overlap on the tin to ensure a good seal. Fill with your chosen recipe and seal the top and bottom of the pie with a beaten egg brushed onto the overlap then nip together.

Corned Beef and Potato Pie:

For this recipe you will need:

1 tin corned beef (about 340g), opened and diced into ½ inch chunks.
1 or 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed and retained in the pan to hold its heat.
1 medium onion, chopped quite fine, slowly cooked off in a little oil until soft and translucent.
Salt and pepper to taste.

In the pan you have mashed the potatoes, whilst they are still hot, mix the corned beef and cooked onion so that they are blended together. Then leave to cool down.

 

Prepare some shortcrust pastry as per the recipe above. Instead of using the small rings I use for the Minced Beef Pies this actually works just as well in a larger pie tin or enamel baking tray (Fig 1).

 

If using the larger tin, butter as per the Minced Beef Recipe, lay your pastry into the tin with a little overhang, ensuring there is no air trapped in between the pastry and the tin. Retain enough pastry for the top.

 

Fill the base with the cooled mix by gently spooning the mixture in until it comes up to level with the sides and has a slight rise in the centre.

 

Cover the overhang with some beaten egg, place the top on, nip together, cover with more beaten egg, pierce the top to let out the air and cook in an oven 190/200°C until golden brown.

 

Serve either cold with salad etc. or hot with steamed vegetables and gravy.

  figure1

 

Meat and Potato Pie:

This is a great pie if you only have a small amount of meat and it needs to go a long way.

250g diced beef steak or, if cost is a concern, shin beef is great for this. Gently braze or stew the beef in some water until nice and tender, add some stock or gravy granules to make some gravy.
1 large onion diced and fried with a little oil in a pan until translucent.
2 medium potatoes, peeled boiled and mashed.
Salt and pepper to taste, this recipe benefits from a good portion of pepper.

Once the steak is cooked, mix together with the potato and onion until they are of a nice moist consistency. Put in a pastry lined baking tin as per one of those in Figure 1, then follow the same instructions above for sealing and cooking.

Cheese and Onion Pie:

This pie is very tasty but depends on your own choices and preferences of cheese, whichever cheese you choose and however much you chose to put in the pie, the cheese needs to be strong and grateable.

¼ to ½ pound of strong cheese grated.
2 medium potatoes peeled, boiled and mashed then retained in the pan to maintain the heat.
1 medium onion diced and fried with a little oil until translucent.

Introduce the grated cheese into the hot mashed potato along with the onion, season to taste and add to your pastry lined tin. Top and cook as above.

Bacon and Egg Pie:

This one depends on the size of the pie you want to make or if you want to make the small 'One hand Pies' that I make. Therefore, rather than quantities I would say use your own judgement, however to get you started here is a rough guide:

4 eggs beaten
4 or 5 thick rashers of salty/smoked bacon, fried off in a little oil, then diced into one inch or less squares.

Let the bacon cool, pour into the beaten egg and stir. Add pepper and salt if required then pour the mixture into the pastry lined tin. In this situation I would use a 6inch / 15cm tin.

Put the top on and bake in the oven as per the other pies.

For a variation you can add a couple of cooked sausages that have been cut up into 1inch / 2cm lengths.

Pork Pie:

400/500g minced pork
1 onion finely chopped
Crushed/chopped sage leaves and mixed herbs

Gently fry off all of the ingredients together then place into the pastry covered tin and seal in the usual way.
This recipe lends itself to the smaller 'one handed pies' method.

By now you will have the message, you can put almost anything you fancy into one of these pies, you can change them by putting puff pastry on the top for a more fancy or luxurious look, but please, have a go at them, you will enjoy them and wonder why we have got out of the habit of making these.

Sweet Pies or Fruit Pies:

Such as apple pies etc. these are just the same, add what you think will be a good mix, apple and blackberry, bilberry pie all work well. What I would say is if you are using a fruit that is rich in juice, it may be worth cooking the base first i.e. blind bake the base, or, alternatively, once you have cooked the fruit off, take some of the juice out before putting the lid on.

Also fruit pies can need sugar added to taste whilst in the fruit cooking stage, sugar can by sprinkled on the top once the beaten egg has been brushed on; not only will this give a wonderful glaze on top of the pie, it will help sweeten the pastry.