December 20, 2009
I don’t think I’ve ever made a savoury pie before. And if this icy cold weather that’s sweeping across the south of England at the moment is doing anything, it’s making me crave soothing, comforting food. So I thought now is as good a time as any to try my hand at one.
The plan was to make a couple of small steak and kidney pies. But the woman who runs my favourite veg stall in Borough Market told me she’d recently had a very tasty steak and oyster pie, which sounded much more interesting, so off I went to find some oysters. Not being able to afford the two dozen required by some recipes I found, I bought four good-sized rock oysters from the Richard Haward stall (90p each, ready hinged), and decided to pop two in each pie, just as a taster. The stewing steak I bought from The Ginger Pig.
Unfortunately, what I didn’t have was a pie dish. So (and here’s how dedicated I am to cooking), I trekked up to John Lewis on Oxford Street – yes, on the last Saturday before xmas – to get what I needed. Several hours later, I dragged my sorry self home and started working on the pies. I hadn’t been able to find a recipe for beef and oyster pie I liked, so I used Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for steak and kidney (without the kidneys) from The River Cottage Year, and added the oysters just before putting on the pastry lid. I also used Hugh’s recipe (in the same book) for rough puff pastry. Both recipes are incredibly simple, but do take time. Which meant I didn’t get to eat my pie until nearly 10pm! But, oh boy, it was worth the wait.
I had just enough ingredients to make two smallish pies, one of which went into the freezer (uncooked) for my little sis, who’s staying in my flat while I’m away in the new year. You’re in for a treat, Sis!