Happy Saturday, fellow foodies! It’s been too long since my last post but I must admit I have been in a creative funk. I had zero new ideas and couldn’t create a thing. It happens sometimes and I usually watch one of my many cooking shows to find inspiration. It didn’t work this time so I just waited. Nothing!
I feel bad for my family because this week’s meals were pretty uninspired. But, today was different! I went to one of my most inspirational grocery stores and voila! Inspiration overload! Central Market grocery store is have a promotional, “Passport to Britain”. They featured all kinds of British recipes and ingredients. It was amazing! I went around each isle snapping pictures and reading labels.
I found everything from a wolffish fillet to chocolate dipped shortbread. That’s one wicked looking fish! I guess that’s why it’s also known as a devil fish.
They also had an adorable Scottie dog towel for sale but it was $11.99 and I’m too cheap and very hard on my kitchen towels. I’m messy in the kitchen and my towels tend to get a workout. I had to pass on that one.
One of the items they had for sale was a fully prepared Angus Beef Pie. I loved the idea of it and I see them from time to time on the British cooking shows. On a side note, check out “Lords and Ladles” in Netflix right now; it’s a lot fun. Chefs cook from recipes from the 1700s in castles for elegant dinner parties. They forage, gather and hunt many of their meal ingredients. It’s so fascinating and based completely in Ireland which is absolutely picturesque!
Anyway, back to the Angus Beef Pie. It was the first one I had ever seen for sale in a store. I was very excited! I have made something similar to this before after I saw a picnic pie challenge on the Great British Baking Show. It turned out great and so tasty.
As I read the ingredients list, I knew that I wanted to make my own from scratch. Scratchmade is always the best flavor wise in my opinion but sometimes it’s just not convenient. However, it’s Saturday so time was on my side.
Creating my own hot water crust should have been easy but I was out of shortening so I opted for homemade traditional pie crust. Well, sort of. I use a food processor recipe that is just so easy. I really recommend it; it’s flaky and quite delicious, a lot better than store bought.
In terms of my filling, I went very traditional: carrots, onion, celery, and seasonings. I also used ground beef that was very lean (92/8). I didn’t want a lot of extra moisture getting to my homemade crust and wrecking it.
Last but not least, I made sure I had a large vent on the top to allow steam to escape. Even though I vented my pie, I still had some leakage in one spot. I think in the future, I might sauté the veggies and meat first and then drain them before I put them in the crust. As they say on Great British Baking Show, “nobody likes a soggy bottom”.
It was a fun meal and my family appreciated the departure from our regular menu. I followed the meal with some homemade shortbread covered in chocolate and I think I redeemed myself. They loved the meal and enjoyed the foreign flavors of Britain.
British Beef and Vegetable Pie
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoon sized pieces
1/2 cup water
1 pound very lean ground beef (92/8 preferred)
2 shredded carrots (about 1 cup)
2 shredded stalks celery (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup diced or shredded yellow onion
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. For the crust: add flour, sugar, and salt to the food processor. Pulse to combine.
2. While running the food processor on the shred setting, add butter. Slowly add water and allow crust mixture to come together. It should form pea sized bits and then pull away from the sides. (in the picture, there is only half of the crust mixture) Divide dough.
3.Roll out 1/2 the dough on a floured surface. Place in a 9 inch pie plate.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. In a large bowl combine filling ingredients and stir until combined.
6. Add meat mixture to bottom pie crust.
*Note: you may want to sauté the filling mixture and drain it before adding it to the crust. This will help with leakage.
7. Roll out the other half of the pie dough and use a cookie cutter to cut a vent in the center. Add dough to top of pie and cut off excess dough. Crimp edges to seal.
8. Bake on a cookie sheet for 50-60 minutes in the middle of the oven.
9. Slice and serve. Enjoy!
I served my Beef and Vegetable Pie with Minted Peas, which is a British approach to green peas.
Here’s a bonus recipe:
12 ounce package of frozen petite peas cooked according to package directions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 green onion sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. In a medium saucepan, add olive oil and heat on medium heat.
2. Add onion and mint and sauté until fragrant.
3. Stir in peas (drained). Add salt and pepper.
4. Heat for about 3 minutes.
5. Serve and enjoy!