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.

Banana and Salted Caramel Filo Pastries

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Not your usual filo filling but hey I love to live on the wild side and experiment with new things! It was my first time making Salted Caramel and I had a heap of over ripe bananas and left over filo pastry. So I thought why not sounds like a tasty combination of flavour.

Boy was I right!!  Salty sweet caramel with soft banana, crunchy light filo casing and toasted walnuts with smooth creamy mascarpone with was an easy tasty dessert!!

Banana and Salted Caramel Filo Pastries

Ingredients:

3 over ripe bananas
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 heaped dessert spoons of salted caramel
8 sheets filo pastry
200g butter, melted

50g walnuts, roughly chopped

100g mascarpone
cinnamon for dusting

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Line large baking tray with baking paper or a silicon mat.
  3. Combine banana and cinnamon in small bowl, mash with a fork.
  4. Take filo pastry lay it out flat and cover with a damp cloth. (This prevents it from dry and cracking which makes it hard to use!)
  5. Take two sheets of filo pastry, cover the remaining. Lye it down flat, brush evenly with melted butter, fold in half vertically.
  6. Place two heaped spoonfuls of mashed banana in the let hand corner of the folded pastry followed a heaped dessert spoon of salted caramel.
  7. Brush around the mixture with a little butter.
  8. Fold the parcel in a triangle over to the left and repeat folding until you have a small strip left, brush with melted butter and seal. Place seal side down on baking tray.
  9. Repeat until mixture and filo pastry is used up.
  10. Brush all finished triangle pastry parcels with butter and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
  11. Bake for 15-16 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Serve with mascarpone and a dusting of cinnamon.

Makes: 4 filo triangles

Combine banana and cinnamon mash with a fork.

Combine banana and cinnamon mash with a fork.

Cover filo pastry with a damp cloth to prevent drying out and hard to work with.

Cover filo pastry with a damp cloth to prevent drying out and hard to work with.

Take two piece of filo, brush with butter and fold in half vertically.

Take two piece of filo, brush with butter and fold in half vertically.

Once mixture is in the left hand corner brush around with butter and fold over to form a triangle. Repeat until only a strip of pastry left.

Once mixture is in the left hand corner brush around with butter and fold over to form a triangle. Repeat until only a strip of pastry left.

Brush with butter and seal. Place seal side down on lined baking tray.

Brush with butter and seal. Place seal side down on lined baking tray.

Brush with butter and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake until golden brown.

Brush with butter and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake until golden brown.

Serve hot with a dollop of mascarpone and a dusting of cinnamon.

Serve hot with a dollop of mascarpone and a dusting of cinnamon.

Handmade Buttery Savoury Pastry

Buttery Savoury Pastry

Ingredients:

130 gram flour
1/4 tsp. salt
65 gram cold butter, cubed
2 tbsp. cold water
1 egg, beaten

Flour for dusting

Method:

  1. In food processor combine flour, butter, salt and water. Pulse until a breadcrumb texture is reached.
  2. Add beaten egg and pulse until dough ball is starting to form.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead until pastry has formed a nice ball, flatten wrap in glad wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling.
  4. When ready to use lightly flour your bench and rolling-pin to avoid sticking.
  5. This pastry is perfect for pies, it is crunchy and slightly flakey and the egg adds richness to it.

I usually when making pies to a double batch but make it separately because you want the bottom of the pie slightly thicker than the lid.

Add flour, salt, butter and water to food processor.

Add flour, salt, butter and water to food processor.

Pulse until bread crumb texture has formed.

Pulse until bread crumb texture has formed.

Add beaten egg.

Add beaten egg.

Pulse until dough starts to form.

Pulse until dough starts to form.

Turn out onto a lightly floured bench, knead until ball forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured bench, knead until ball forms.

Wrap in glad wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Wrap in glad wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out on a lightly floured bench and flour our rolling-pin to avoid sticking.

Roll out on a lightly floured bench and flour our rolling pin to avoid sticking.