Sunday, 11 May 2014

Corned Beef & Potato Pie

It's amazing what you find when you wander through the back streets of towns. Banbury is pretty uninspiring and quite run down but we came across this row of shops tucked away behind one of the main streets. The smell of the wisteria was amazing.

While we were moored in the town centre we had a visit from the owner of "Milty" the 4th boat we built. We showed Milty at Crick Boat Show back in 2002 and became very good friends with Annie & Richard and actually shared the boat with them for several years before we got our own boat. We had many "lost afternoons" in the Malt Shovel in Shardlow, back in the days before it was modernised (and ruined?) and when it served amazing corned beef and potato pies which were Annie's favourite.

So, inspired by her visit, I made a pie for our dinner that night.  Although I'm good at making bread and cakes I've never managed to make decent pastry, in fact I can even make shop-bought pastry turn out like old boot leather!  I've tried every recipe going but without success, so this time I just winged it and grated cold butter into flour without weighing anything out and what do you know? It was perfect! Maybe it was the fact that I'd made it a couple of hours before I needed it and kept it in the fridge that made all the difference, or maybe it was just a fluke?

The filling was made by sautéing an onion in a teaspoon of olive oil for 10 minutes till soft and golden. I then added 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced, a veggie stock cube and a squirt of tomato ketchup, before covering with water and simmering for 15 minutes till the potatoes were soft. I drained the liquid off to use in gravy later and mashed the potatoes a bit and left it to cool. When it was time to cook the pie I added half a tin of corned beef chopped up into small dice and piled the mixture into the pastry lined tin and put a lid on it before baking it for 35 minutes at Gas 6.

I was really amazed how well it turned out. The pastry was perfectly cooked and didn't even have a soggy bottom, a first for me............

I hope it wasn't a fluke as Roger wants me to make it again soon.

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