Sunday, 25 January 2015

Steak, Bacon and Onion Pie, and Isle of Wight Pudding

I love when a whole Sunday dinner takes an hour to produce from start to finish. My vegetable casserole epiphany makes life so much easier, by keeping my kitchen tidier of pans and hob-free, and makes use of the oven. We had carrots and green beans placed in a casserole with a little splash of water from the kettle, lid on, and put in the oven at 180C for 1 hour while I got on the rest.

The photograph above made it into the blog rather than one of the cooked pie because the filled base just looked so pretty with all of the onions rings tossed through the pink strips of rasher.  The idea for this pie came from a Not-Really-Stargazy Pie I used to make quite a bit a few years back.  There were no fish heads peering out of the pie, as the sardines came from a tin, so there was no stargazing... but it tasted amazing, all punchy with onion, lemon and black pepper and little salty bites of bacon.  The only thing I changed here was to use Fry's steak strips instead of sardines and maple or plain rashers instead of the streaky bacon,.. god bless Holland and Barratt's January buy-one-get-one-for-a-penny deal. It made a gorgeous Sunday meal with the vegetable casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, then followed by...

Isle of Wight Pudding and custard. A bit of research turned up that Isle of Wight Pudding is also called Vectis and is traditionally a suet roly-poly deal filled with a little syrup, currants, apple and lemon. This was news to me... at school we had a cakier pud that was dripping in golden syrup and sultanas.  It was amazing.  And so wrong to be eating it at noon on a weekday to be followed by double maths.  You really really only need a small portion because it is so sweet, despite adding the lemon juice, but you really really need to try least once.  Especially after the lemon and black pepper seasoned pie here...they just work so well one after the other when the lemon subtly follows through rather than gets boring.  The salt quantity might look weird, but this works along with the lemon to counterbalance the intensely sweet syrup and fruit.

Steak, Bacon and Onion Pie with Lemon and Black Pepper

For the pastry:
200g plain flour
100g solid vegetable fat - I like to use 50g marg and 50g Trex
Pinch of salt
Cold water

For the filling:
Half a pack of Fry's thick cut strips - straight from the freezer is fine - broken into approx. thirds
4 Maple or plain rashers, sliced
2 onions, sliced into rings
2 tsp plain flour
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground black pepper depending on how punchy you like it (I prefer1/2, but the family all prefer less)
3 tbsp. lemon juice from a bottle
Pinch of sea salt

Rub the fat into the flour and salt for the pastry.  When it resembles rolled oats, mix in a couple of tbsp of cold water, adding gradually only if you need more, to bring the pastry together.  Roll half out to line a greased pie plate or ovenproof dinner plate.  Toss the filling ingredients together and fill the pie base. Roll out the remaining pastry and place on top for a lid. Press the edges gently then trim the edges if needed.  Press around the edges with a fork or turn them in to create a crust.  Bake at 180C for 40 minutes.

Isle of Wight Pudding (School Dinner Style)

150g self raising flour
100g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
150ml soya milk sweetened with apple juice *Why?
100ml rapeseed oil
4 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. golden syrup
50g sultanas (I had run out, so used mixed vine fruits i.e. sultanas, raisins and currants)

Mix the flour, sugar and salt.  Whisk the oil, milk and lemon juice.  Mix the liquid into the batter. Spoon the syrup evenly as possible in the bottom of a greased oven dish.  Scatter the fruit over the top of the syrup. Spoon the batter evenly over the fruit and syrup.  Bake for 30 minutes at 180C.

Costings approx. £3.26 for the pie, and approx. 72p for the pudding.
Prices from accessed 26/1/2015, steak strips from Goodness Direct (Holland and Barratt stock them instore at a similar price) and the rashers direct from VBites.

*To add a little more sweetness, I like to use soya milk sweetened with apple extract (supermarket brands usually are) which is around the same cost as dairy milks but with less saturated fat and is good if you worry about the free-range etc side of things - it also has the advantage of making cakes suitable for the oft-cited 70% of the world's population who are lactose intolerant! If you only have dairy milk in the fridge, then there is no reason that this recipe wouldn't work with that instead.

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