Perfect As Pie

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One of my biggest loves in life is making pies and if you know me you’ll know how much LOVE LOVE LOVE and appreciation I have for a good potato top or cottage pie. Something about them comforting and warm with perfect crunchy pastry topped with clouds of creamy mashed potato. So I took it upon myself today to create cottage pies family and individual size.

This recipe is made from scratch just for you all and it sure made me smile tucking into one straight from the oven this morning, It’s never too early for a pie in my book right?

Cottage Pie

Ingredients:
Pie Filling
1kg Beef mince
1 Onion, finely diced
1/2 Leek sliced
2tbsp Crushed garlic
4tbsp The Good Oil (or canola)
2tsp Dried rosemary
1 tin Diced tomatoes
3tbsp Tomato paste
250ml Worcester sauce
2tbsp Malt vinegar
1ltr Beef stock
2tbsp Soy sauce
1cup Frozen peas
1/2tsp Salt
1tsp Cracked black pepper
1/2cup Cornflour
1/4cup Cold water
Mash Potato
6-8 Large Agria potatoes, peeled
1tsp Salt
1/2tsp Cracked pepper
1tbsp Dried Parsley or fresh
1tbsp Wholegrain mustard
1cup Potato flakes
100gm Butter
150ml Cream

4x Sheets puff or savoury pastry (I used puff)
2tbsp Butter
2tbsp Plain flour
1/2cup Tastey cheese, grated

Method:

  1. Heat fry pan over medium to high heat, add 1tbsp the good oil followed by onion,leek and garlic cook until brown add to a heavy based large pot, over a low heat. Browning  the components develops the flavour of this pie.
  2.  Add 1/4 cup water to remove the caramilsation and add to the pot, dry pan with a paper towel.
  3. Heat fry pan over a high heat add 1 tbsp of oil and half of the mince in large chunks, do not break the mince up let the large pieces brown, this is where a huge part of the flavour is going to come from. Once it has been cooking around 2-3 minutes turn the chunks over and start to brake them up. Add to the pot.
  4. Repeat step 3 until all mince is browned add to pot.
  5. Place stock, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper and rosemary into the large pot, stirring well. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.  Making sure you are stiring occasionally to prevent burning.
  6. Taste and check the seasoning, add frozen peas and turn the heat up to high to get a rapid boil happening.
  7. Mix the cornflour and 1/4 cup  water to create a slurry, stir this into your boiling beef mixture. Cook out for 5 minutes, stirring as this can catch on the bottom once thickened.
  8. Spread your pie mix out on a lined deep roasting tray to cool down fast.
  9. Now to make the mashed potato.
  10. Boil potatoes until tender with 1tsp of salt.
  11. Drain and add salt, pepper, butter, cream, parsley and mustard. Mash well until smooth, stir in potato flakes. The potato flakes help give the mash structure on top of the pie.
  12. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
  13. Time to assemble, once your pie mix is cool if using this hot it can make the pastry soggy and not achieve a crunchy finish.
  14. Butter and flour pie dishes I have used some small and a large Family size round dish as well. Bang the dish on the bench to remove excess flour. You can you muffin tins for mini versions perfect for the kids lunch box.
  15. When cutting your pastry you want to cut it slightly larger than the pie dish to avoid shrinkage, any off cuts keep for the edges on the larger pie.
  16. For the large pie I used one sheet of pastry on the base and the off cuts from the small pies around the edge. *see photos below
  17. Once you have lined your dishes with pastry, trim the edges the a knife resting it on the edge of the dish and cutting the overhanging pastry if there is any.
  18. Fill the dishes 3/4 of the way up with the pie filling, you want to make sure there is room for the potato.
  19. Top with potato mixture, for the smaller pies I placed a large spoonful in the center and worked the mash to the edge of the pastry making sure there was no gap left or the mince with boil out in the oven.
  20. For the large pie I placed spoonfuls of mash over the top and repeated this until it was cover. Smooth over the top making sure you get to the edges of the pastry just like the smaller pies to avoid the mince escaping.
  21. Top with grated tasty cheese and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.

I was left with about 1/4 of the pie mix left over, you can make more pies or freeze this down to use later on when you want the pie again.  It could also can be served hot over pasta or creamy mash for an easy mid-week dinner.

Slow Cooker Friday

End result a glossy tender stew.

Beef, Bacon and Chickpea Stew with White Wine and Tomatoes.

AHHH FRIDAY

By the time Friday rolls in lets all be fair we’ve all really had enough of the weekend and the last thing we want to do once coming home from a long week at work is cook dinner. So I thought how perfect a tasty slow cooker meal you can chuck on in the morning before heading off to work and come home to a virtually completed dinner. You just have to bake your potatoes and thicken the stew when you get home.

Beef, Bacon and Chickpea Stew with White Wine and Tomatoes

Ingredients:
900 gm blade steak, fat removed and 3cm dice
4 rashers streaky bacon, sliced into large batons
3 carrots, peeled and 2 cm dice
1 red onion, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, dice
3 tbsp. Worcester sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup beef stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tbsp. cranberries
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh marjoram
salt and pepper
2 tbsp. cornflour, mixed with equal parts water

Method:

  1. Turn your slow cooker onto low.
  2. Brown onions, bacon and garlic in fry pan over a medium heat with half the oil, add to slow cooker.
  3. Pour in half the wine and deglaze the pan add this to the slow cooker.
  4. Season beef and heat renaming oil in pan, brown beef both sides add to slow cooker, deglaze with remaining wine add to slow cooker.
  5. Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir.
  6. Place on lid and cook for 7-8 hours on low or 4 on high.
  7. Stir in cornflour mix and cook for 15minutes turn to keep warm until you choose to serve.
  8. Serve with a baked or mashed potato and a dollop of sour cream.

Serves: 4-5

Ready to be slow cooked.

Ready too be slow cooked.

End result a glossy tender stew.

End result a glossy tender stew.

Serve stew on baked or mashed potatoes topped with sour cream and chives.

Serve stew on baked or mashed potatoes topped with sour cream and chives.

 

 

Deviled Sausages a Classic

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The classic deviled sausage, I was brought up with my mother cooking this delicious meal a lot during my childhood and still to date.

Here i have created my own recipe for deviled sausage, with tart apple, tomato notes with whole grain mustard and a zing of balsamic vinegar and a hint of spice from the cayenne.

Heres the recipe I hope you enjoy making it and eating it as much as I do!

Robyn’s Deviled Sausages

Ingredients

8-9 beef or pork sausages
2 apples, cored and sliced
2 onions, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. worcester sauce
2 tbsp tomato chutney
2 tbsp. tomato sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp whole grain mustard
salt & pepper
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp. cornflour, combine with water
2 tbsp. cold water

Method

  1. If using oven method pre-heat to 180 degrees or pre-heat slow cooker to desired setting. See notes below*
  2. Heat oil and brown onions, garlic over a medium heat, remove and add to your slow cooker or oven dish.
  3. Brown sausages 2 minutes each side, add to your chosen dish.
  4. Combine brown sugar, balsamic, worcester sauce, tomato chutney, tomato sauce, soy, mustard and salt and pepper. Stir well, add to the 1 cup of vegetable stock and into your sausage, onion mix.
  5. If using oven method cover your roasting dish with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove tin foil and stir in cornflour mixture bake for a further 15 minutes with no tin foil. For slow cooker steps check below in notes.
  6. Serve alongside your favourite greens and mashed potato or rice.

I’ve served mine with some creamy garlic polenta and sautéed lemon sliver beat with red capsicum.

Serves: 4

Notes*:

For fast slow cooker: Cook on high for 1 hour and 45 minutes then add cornflour mix, stir well and cook for a further 15minutes, change to keep warm until ready to serve.
For long slow cookery, pre-heat to low and cook for 3 hours and 45 minutes add cornflour mix, stir well and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Gluten Free
Brown sausages, onions and garlic.

Pour in cornflour mixture, stir well.

Pour in cornflour mixture, stir well.

Mine is served with sautéed greens and creamy polenta.

Mine is served with sauteed greens and creamy polenta.