Thursday, 11 March 2010

Recipe - Corned Beef Pie

Classic stodge from the north of England, spuds, onion and meat in can.

I've never been a huge fan of corned beef, but in our house at the moment I'm living with a guy called Luke, who seems to accumulate the stuff. No joke, every time he goes home, he comes back with:
  1. Some crazy pasta in a bag thing
  2. Fray Bentos pies (do not eat these! They are one of the worst things to go in my mouth, ever)
  3. Big soup
  4. and you guessed it: Corned beef
So I was fishing through the cupboard and I noticed that it was becoming somewhat full of the nasty pies and tins of corned beef; having no desire to do anything about the former, I thought, what can I do with the pile of corned beef.

The only two things that came to mind were corned beef pie, or corned beef hash, and the hash option is no go, a pointless food in my opinion. An opinion contested most fiercely by Luke, none the less, I wasn't going to make it.

Pie it was.

So, step by step:
  1. Take 240g plain flour (though self raising will work, and gives a fluffier top), 60g of butter (or lard, I used butter), a tiny pinch of salt, and set aside a glass of cold water
  2. Mix the first three ingredients by rubbing the fat into the flour until you have a fine, breadcrumb like mixture.
  3. Slowly add a tiny amount of water, and mix, Repeat adding tiny amounts of water until the whole mixture comes together.
  4. Place the pastry in the fridge.
  5. Take 1 tin of corned beef, 1 medium onion, 2 medium potatoes, 2 small eggs, a tiny amount of salt, some pepper and some thyme and rosemary (the last 2 are not necessary, but by adding a scattering of each in you increase the flavour, use whatever is available).
  6. Peel the potato, then finely dice, do the same with the onion (the finer you dice, the more dense your pie will be).
  7. Extract the corned beef and mash it until there are no more large chunks.
  8. Beat the 2 eggs in a bowl.
  9. Mix the diced veg, corned beef, seasoning and about 3/4 of the eggs together, this is your filling.
  10. Set the oven at 200C and remove pastry from fridge.
  11. Split the pastry into 2 uneven parts, one slightly larger than the other, and roll out this larger half on a floured surface.
  12. Roll until you have enough to fit whatever pie dish you are using, grease the dish and place the pastry inside.
  13. Add all the filling into your base and squish down with a wooden spoon (or whatever you used to mix it, no point making more washing up).
  14. Roll out the second ball of dough into a top, but before placing on the pie, brush the top edge of the base with some of the remaining egg (helps the lid stick).
  15. Prick the pie with a fork, knife, whatever, and add random decorations if you wish.
  16. Chuck that bad boy in the oven for 30 minutes or so, basically until it looks done (golden brown on top is a good sign).
  17. Serve slices up with gravy, have it on its own, even eat it cold, so versatile...
Done, one pie, and because no recipe is complete without a photo of the food in question:

And yes, we wrote "pi" on top of it, we are physicists after all, you're lucky you didn't get a Schrodinger equation.

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