Cheesy drunken swine pie
60ml sunflower oil
2 Spanish onions, skinned & sliced
4 sticks celery, trimmed & sliced
2 large carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
50g seasoned flour
900g pork shoulder, boned & cubed
1 bay leaf
150ml chicken stock
100ml double cream
200g Barkham blue cheese
Freshly ground white pepper
100g toasted walnuts
250g flaky pastry
1 beaten egg
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Heat the oil in a large casserole, sweat the onions, celery & carrots over a gentle heat, for about 5 minutes. Dust the cubes of pork in seasoned flour, then add to the casserole a few at a time & seal the meat. Add the bay leaf, Perry & stock & bring to a gentle simmer.
Cover the casserole with a tight fitting lid & place in a pre-heated oven for 1½ hours, or until the meat is tender.
Remove casserole from the oven, adjust seasoning with freshly ground white pepper & celery salt.
Allow the pot to cool for 20 minutes, then crumble in the cheese & stir in the cream. Allow the mixture to completely cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 180°C. Roll out a pastry lid using the pie dish as a template. Load the pie dish with the filling. Fold in the toasted walnuts. Place the pastry lid on top, crimp the sides securely onto the pie dish. Make a small hole in the centre of the lid. Brush the pastry with beaten egg.
Bake the pie for 35 minutes until the filling is simmering hot & the pastry is golden.
Steak & kidney pudding pie
In the 1800’s, this British classic was also known as John Bull pudding. One of the mistakes that people make when preparing steak and kidney for pie or pudding is to confuse the flavour of the meat with too many other ingredients – Worcestershire sauce, red wine, Lea and Perrins etc. let the ingredients speak for themselves.
For the suet pastry
300g self-raising flour
150g shredded suet
Sieve the flour and salt together into a mixing bowl. Add the suet, stir in the water and season. Mix the ingredients into a fairly firm dough.
Wrap it in a damp tea towel or cling film and rest it in the fridge for 20 minutes. Now you’re ready to roll. Lightly flour a surface and roll the pastry about 7mm thick.
Choose a 1ltr sized pudding basin, and grease it well with butter. When lining the basin, leave 2cm of pastry overhanging the lip.
Roll out a circle slightly larger than the top of the basin. When the basin has been filled with the steak and kidney mixture, brush the perimeter of the overhang with cold water before topping with the "lid" circle. Now you can trim excess lid pastry and overhang.
For the filling
2 tbsp vegetable oil or beef dripping
450g chuck steak – into 2.5cm cubes
225g lambs kidney – cut in half – white "cortex" removed
2 carrots, peeled, roughly cut 1cm dice
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
200g button mushrooms, halved
300ml brown ale
600ml veal stock or beef stock from a stock cube
1 bay leaf
Malden salt, freshly ground black pepper
Heat the dripping or vegetable oil in a large pan, brown off the beef and kidney. Remove the pan, reserve. In the sauce pan brown off the carrots, onions, celery and mushrooms in a touch more dripping or oil.
Now add the beer to the vegetables. Allow the beer to reduce by two thirds. Now add the stock and bay – simmer. Now add the steak and kidney, lid on and simmer on a low heat for 1½ hours. It is important that the meat is not yet tender – it will finish cooking when we steam the pudding. Season and allow to cool.
Once cool, strain through a colander, reserving the cooking liquid and removing the bay leaf. Spoon the meat and vegetables into the lined pudding basin and add just enough sauce to JUST cover. Put the pastry lid on.
Now top the pudding basin with a sheet of buttered greaseproof. Fold a crease/pleat into the paper, so that as the suet top rises, the paper can expand. Tie the greaseproof around the top of the bowl with string.
Place your largest pan on the hob. Place an upturned dessert plate or soup bowl in the bottom of the pan. Place the pudding dish on the plate. Fill the pan with boiling water from the kettle until it comes to 4cm below the top of the pudding basin. Lid on and simmer the pudding for 1½ hours – keep checking your water level.
Any remaining gravy can be re-heated to pour over the pudding when served.
Lemon meringue pie
23cm shortcrust pastry case, baked blind
225g caster sugar
350ml tepid water
Grated rind of lemon
100ml lemon juice
4 egg yolks
For the Meringue:
4 egg whites
100g caster sugar
While the pastry case is cooling, mix the cornflour with the caster sugar & salt in a large heavy-based saucepan. Stir in the water, lemon rind & juice & heat gently until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat.
Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl & whisk in a small amount of the hot sauce.
Slowly pour the egg mixture into the sauce, stirring rapidly. Cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened but don’t let it boil. Add the butter & stir until it has dissolved.
Pour the filling into the pastry case.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Gradually fold in the sugar, then whisk again until stiff peaks form. Spoon the meringue mixture over the filling in the pie case, using a fork to form the meringue into peaks.
Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes until lightly browned.