Friday, 5 December 2014

Smallholding Pies For Tea.



Perhaps Brotherhood Of Man could put my blog in their chorus instead of "Save all your kisses for me"?  They must be tired of singing the same old lyrics.  I know Robert Plant (see yesterdays blog) said he got bored singing Stairway To Heaven, after the ten thousandth time.  He could have changed the lyrics to Stairway To Devon?  May be not!

What do I know?  We have been making pies for tea.  One thing I miss about England is the pies and the proper chippies.  They call them chippers over here.  The chip-shops/chippers don't sell pies.  A typical menu would be:  Burger and Chips, Fish and Chips, Battered sausage and chips...  This is starting to sound like the Monty Python 'Spam' sketch.

Any road it's very difficult to get proper pies like they have in dear old Blighty.  In recent years we have been able to purchase Tetley tea bags, Vimto (if you travel to Cork or Killarney for it) and Newcastle Brown Ale.  We can sometimes get pork pies if we go to Tesco in Killarney or Cork.  Sixty miles for a pork pie is a bit far, isn't it?

Yesterday I got the wife to make some pies for us tea.  Why I have gone all Yorkshire?  We (she) made two pork mince pies for the lads and two Chilli con carne pies for us.  The Chilli con carne came from out of a tin bought in Aldi.  They tasted very nice.

Do you make your own pies?  What's your favourite?  Hope it's not mackerel and rhubarb.  Not had a good spud pie for a while. Wonder where she is?  

24 comments:

  1. Steak n kidney (with proper big kidneys) does is for me Dave, mind you before Widnes rugby ground was ahem 'improved' they sold the best meat n potato suet pies in mushy peas in the whole universe, I exaggerate not!
    What no spam in your pie?

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  2. They sound wonderful, John. I miss watching a real live football match and sampling the pies. I found that the semi professional clubs looked after their supporters best. Great food and you could even buy a pint. It's only the executive boxes in the Premiership that let you have a pint.

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  3. At least they're full, most of the offerings here are 50% pastry and 50% of the filling is fresh air.

    Used to be a few independent bakers locally who each made their own pies, meat & potato, (or potato & meat for the politically correct) were a favourite. Now all we have is Greggs, apart from the superstores.

    Not so good at pastry, but like to make steak & kidney pudding with suet patry in the slow cooker.

    Steak and Kidney Pudding Recipe:
    • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
    • 85g (3oz) shredded suet
    • Pinch salt
    • 450g (1lb) lean stewing steak, cut into cubes
    • 225 (8oz) ox or lamb kidney, cut into cubes
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • Freshly milled black pepper

    Method:
    Preheat the slow cooker on HIGH. Grease a 1litre (1 3/4pt pudding bowl (greasing is important otherwise it won’t turn out, as I discovered!)
    Mix together the flour, suet and seasoning with enough water to make a soft dough. Reserve 1/3 for the lid and roll out the remainder on a lightly floured surface. Use this to line the pudding basin.
    Mix together the steak, kidney, onion, salt and pepper and pack carefully into the pastry-lined pudding basin. Add 2 tbsp water. The pudding should not quite fill the bowl to allow room for the crust to rise
    Roll out the remaining pastry to make the lid. Moisten the edges of the pastry with water and press the lid into position. Cover with *greased greaseproof paper or foil.

    *To avoid scalding yourself, fold a length of foil which you leave under the bowl with the ends loose at the top to lift the bowl in and out.

    Using this lifting foil strap lower the bowl into the slow cooker. Pour in enough boiling water to come half way up the side of the basin. Put the lid on, and cook on HIGH for 6-8 hours. Resist any temptation to peep!
    Take the bowl out of the slow cooker, again using the foil lifting strap. Remove the greaseproof paper, and turn the S&KP out onto a warmed plate.

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  4. Milk replacer and bags of grass seed seem to come with fifty percent of fresh air.

    We make suet beef puddings and steam them. I am the only person in the smallholding household that will eat kidney, sadly.

    I remember Greggs. They use make a great chilli pastie. It's sad to hear of the demise of the traditional family pie shops. How much is a pint of bitter these days Cumbrian?

    Thanks!

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  5. Last one I had last week in Wetherspoons, Workington, real ale, can't remember the name, they have 8 or 9 ales changing all the time, was £2.20.

    Last pint of Guinness I bought was at a hotel in Prestwick, Mazies Manor, last year, was £3.60.

    Bitter last pint was Holiday Inn Express at Liverpool airport 2 weeks ago, John Smiths, £3.80.

    Greggs have 3 shops in the town centre and one on the industrial estate, they seem to have closed all the local bakeries except Haighs Workington (google it) the butchers but do a range of high quality pies as well.

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  6. Gosh that is cheap for a pint of real ale, Cumbrian. That's about two Euros and ninety cents. Last pint of stout I bought cost me four Euros ninety. I paid a Euro for a pint (or equivalent) for a lovely drink of Dunkels in Bratislava in July. They had some fifteen percent ales but I didn't try it.

    Will Google Haighs bakery -thanks!

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  7. Weatherspoons is very good on its prices.

    Lol I no longer eat pastry. I love it too much and it likes to settle on my thighs and midriff. Other than riding my bike or walking I dont really like exercising! Oh and swimming but that has become really expensive at the local pool

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  8. Hi Sol. Weatherspoons are supposed to be opening pubs over here in Ireland. I really miss real ales and different regional English recipes.

    I don''t mind a good hike. But I don't like walking on my own. I get bored of my own company. Thanks!

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  9. This time of year it has to be rabbit or game pie. We are very lucky here with long time family run butchers shops who make wonderful pork pies, and sell local game and, rabbits caught on an organic farm. Rabbit casserole tonight. Love this time of year with all its comfort food and feeling justified in eating it.

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  10. Hi Irene. Never ate Rabbit. Is it good? I know Cumbrian use to keep them for meat. Could be a lucrative market for any smallholder or country dweller. Don't fancy killing, skinning and gutting them though. Supposed you get used to it? Yes comfort is what you need now it's getting colder. Thanks!

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  11. Rabbit has quite a delicate flavour, is cheap, (well it is here) and as with all wild food, not much fat. Still a good healthy meat if home reared for the table. Cook in a variety of ways including roasting just like any other meat.
    As for gutting, I find doing a chicken is worse, and I am sure that you have done your share of those.
    Bet you enjoyed your pies.

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    1. Rabbit sounds good, Anne. I can't remember the last time I saw pheasants and rabbits hanging up outside a butchers shop. I remember the saddle makers shop here in Bantry. The pies were really nice. Going to order some foil trays on Ebay today and make a dozen or so meat and potato pies. Thanks!

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    2. Hi Dave, when I was looking for the foil bowls for the Xmas puds I also looked on ebay, they were very expensive, I drew a total blank on trying to find an Irish catering company on line that had what I wanted, in a sudden light bulb moment we checked out a local small £ type shop, we got exactly what we wanted for e2 for five with lids and 1.49 for 5 without lids, less than half the price we found on ebay!
      I don't think anyone enjoys the killing process but you get on with it, rabbits are easier and far quicker than poultry.
      The lack of wild rabbits around is due largely to the lack of cereal crops being grown, we see the odd one around here but far more hares than rabbits.
      I think there are a lot of reasons that people don't eat rabbit, cute and cuddly, myxomatosis, and going back in history to the time of the famine when tenants were not allowed to kill anything on the land owners land, a long time ago but it would have been passed down through the generations.

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    3. Thanks for the foil bowl advice, Anne. Will have look in Dealz when I next go to Killarney. I also go in: The Works for cheap books. There's always cooking and veg growing books and books about Ireland there.

      No I don't think anyone enjoys killing their animals or when they go to slaughter.

      There use to be a lot more rabbits when everybody grew a field of vegetables. Wonder if cutting silage early (late April, May) effects them?
      Thanks!

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  12. Rabbit if you can find it here is expensive,11-12 euro, not too many Irish will eat them, it would mainly be the Poles or us Brits. We raise rabbits for our own use, low in fat and delicious, rabbit pie, rabbit stew roast rear legs, I have also made bunny burgers, have yet to make sausages from them yet though, on the list to try.
    Favourite pie? Steak/ mushroom and Guinness.

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  13. Hi Anne. I found an on line Irish rabbit meat seller yesterday. The fields use to be full of rabbits when I was young. I remember asking my grandmother how do I catch one. She told me to sprinkle salt on its tail. She wasn't very happy when there was no salt left.

    Does it not bother you when you despatch them?

    We make a steak pie with Newcastle Brown. A lot of Dunnes stores sell Newcastle Brown Ale these days here in Ireland. Thanks!

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  14. Could never understand the reluctance to eat rabbit, it's a very healthy meat with no fat (or very little).
    Perhaps they associate rabbit with cuddly furry things, but they also probably think of spring lambs as cuddly woolly things but quite happy to tuck in to lamb chops or a roast of lamb leg.

    They're a self-reliant familys dream, cheap to buy, cheap to house, cheap to feed, breed like, well, rabbits, grow to edible size very quick, easy to kill humanely and prepare.

    The wild variety do have a bit of an earthy taste, often reflecting the place where they lived and the available food. And they seem to be getting more numerous.


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  15. I have heard people say they like rabbit because it's a rodent.

    I think people do associate rabbit with the cuddly domestic breeds we see in pet shops. You are of course right about lamb and pigs (4 months old) and veal being ate.

    Don't see many here now. Don't know if its modern farming practices or they never recovered from mxymatosis. Use to see lots of them when I came to Ireland for my holidays. Not seen any hung outside the local butchers for years. I have tasted pheasant. That was very dark and we had to spit the gun shot out. It was good though.

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  16. I am making lots of typos today. Sorry that first sentence should say: I have heard people say they don't like rabbit because it's a rodent.

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  17. My husband has been banging on for ages about the pies he used to eat when he was a youngster in South Africa. So I made a meat pie for him the other day, (from our own cooked minced pork) and it was delish. But he wants me to make individual pies (as in your photo) so I have ordered some small tins from Amazon. Myself, I would prefer a baked potato in its jacket, but I need to look after my man, so individual pies it will be once my tins arrive. France doesn't 'do' pies, by the way, only sweet pastry flan type things which have hardly any pastry in them at all, and most certainly never have lids to them, which I think is half hearted!

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    1. Pies are a great way of storing food and for eating on the move. You will make some wonderful pies when your Rayburn is up and running. Thanks!

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  18. Yes I've noticed the lack of any sort of pies in France except the sweet flan types.

    Thinking about it, I can't recall seeing pies anywhere else in Europe. Or am I missing something?

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    1. Looked up pies on Wikipedia. Apparently they are an English invention. Even the Plymouth Brethren had their own pie recipes when they went to America. The English speaking countries seem to have their own pies.

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