Still, meat pies have never been high on my list of desirable foods.
My family however love them.
So I compromised and bought an electric family size pie maker.
It seems lazy but I know that specific electrical devices, such as the pizza maker, turbo oven, or thermochef cook food perfectly and make timing for cooking simple and easy.
So I promised hubby that if I bought an electric pie maker I would cook a meat pie. Simple.
I purchased the model online on a Tuesday and suspected it would arrive on the following Monday.
We had a few days away in Lismore and Byron Bay with friends and whilst passing a liquor store in Lismore I remembered to buy a big bottle of 'Stout' for a meat pie recipe I had seen.
One thing I especially enjoy about staying in this region is the availability of wholesome food shops where you can buy by the 100 grams or kilo measures any dried ingredient you might need. I stocked up on Senshu green tea, freshly roasted local coffee beans and bought some hippy hemp and cotton shirts for the family. It is so nice to get away to a relaxed pace of living for a while.
We arrived home on Sunday night and sure enough the pie maker arrived on Monday.
On Tuesday I purchased gravy beef on the way home in preparation for the sublime meat pie recipe and located the bottle of dark, almost black stout which had found it's way into my wine cabinet.
This is the first time I have ever cooked a filling the night before and let cool in the fridge.
I bought frozen puff and frozen shortcrust pastry but sometimes we need help ...
Then I cooked the most amazing two meat pies I have ever tasted , varying the recipe slightly but I was inspired by this recipe.
I am now a converted pie lover and there will be many more variations to come in the future.
Chunky Beef and Stout Pie
4 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1.3kg gravy beef, outer fat removed and cut into 2cm chunks
1 bottle of Stout 750ml ( I bought Guiness extra stout)
400ml beef stock
2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
cracked black pepper
pinch of salt (remembering beef stock is salty)
Heat oil in a large pan and cook onions and garlic for about 5 minutes until it starts to brown, stirring occasionally.
Add beef and cook 5 minutes.
Add Stout and beef stock, worcestershire sauce and tomato paste.
Bring to a high simmer and simmer, lid off for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Season with black pepper and salt to taste.
(Makes 2 beef and stout pies)
2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
Preheat oven to 180 Celsius.
Line your greased 20cm pie pan with the shortcrust pastry, leaving a little extra pastry at the top.
Place half of the filling on top of the pastry.
Place puff pastry sheet, cut to fit on top of the filling and lightly crimp edges to seal.
Brush with a little milk and bake for approximately 30 minutes.
Or use an electric pie maker like I did, after the initial 5 minute heating and a wipe of vegetable oil, I used the enclosed pastry cutter to cut the big side from the shortcrust pastry for the bottom. Place in pie maker, insert half filling on top and line with the puff pastry cut from the smaller side of the cutter. No need to brush with milk, close lid and cook for 18 minutes. Place in 150C oven whilst cooking the other pie.
Tell me, do you like to collect kitchen gadgets to make your life easier?
What's your most favourite shortcut electrical appliance?
Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx