Friday, December 18, 2009

Pie Off!!

Food blogging friends
We got invited by Aoife from I Can Has Cook to enter a pie into the first annual pie-off, so I gladly accepted. I have been reading Aoifes blog for a good while now, by entering this competition I would be meeting her face to face - ha ha! Then we realised we’d already met a few years ago anyway, but that’s another story.

Lola and I thought long and hard over our pie choices, many pies were discussed at length, so thanks guys for indulging our endless food talk. We weighed up our options carefully, considered some bad and good pie puns.

We did make a great Beef and Guinness pie back in July, but we thought we’d need to push the boat out and go a little extra special for this one.

As I undertook the shopping I imagined a master chef style judging -’now this is a big disappointment guys.... hmm awfully bland....’ The pressure was on.
We chose a classic game pie, which we named

Granny Speed on the Game Pie
Now the story behind this was I borrowed a ceramic blackbird from my mum - which you ‘ bake in the middle of the pie’ and it holds the pastry above the filling preventing sogginess and also housing the vent to let out the steam.

This little birdy belonged to my great grandmother whose surname was Speed - get it!
Anyways the ingredients for the pie were sourced from Moore Street and also from Fallon and Byrne. We decided to cook the filing the night before so that the flavours could rest over night and develop properly.

So I wobbled home on Friday after a few Friday pints of Guinness and Rayne prob did most of the work - but I assisted. She even filleted two saddles of rabbit - hats off!Less rambling - More recipe


1/2lb of rabbit - filleted and chopped into 2/3 cm cubes
1/2 lb of pheasant, chopped into 2/3 cm cubes
1/2 pound of venison flank cubed
4 oz of streaky bacon - de-rinded and diced
2 red onions
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 pint of wine
1 oz of plain flour4oz of shitake mushrooms
4oz of button mushrooms
1 bay leaf
a tablespoon of red currant jelly
1/2 pint of chicken stock
Zest and juice of one orange
Puff pastry (bought not homemade - sorry!)

With a little oil - fry off the pheasant and rabbit in batches in your pan to brown on each side. Dont brown your venison as apparently this makes it very tough. Set aside.

Cook your onion for a minute then add in the garlic and bacon - after about 2/3 mins add in the mushrooms. Fry until the onion is transparent and the bacon getting nicely cooked - but not too brown. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds before adding in the browned meat, unbrowned venison, wine, stock, bay leaf, orange juice, zest and jelly.

Mix well, bring to the boil and then lower to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about an hour and twenty mins. Allow to cool, before refrigerating overnight.

Next day - pop your mixture into a high sided pie dish, around your little birdy. Then cut your pastry to be a lot wider than your dish, as it will puff and shrink. Drape t over your pie dish - and cut a hole for the steam to escape. Brush with some beaten egg. Cook at Gas Mark 6 for 2o mins and then turn down to gas mark 5 for a further 30 mins or so - till golden and delicious on top and bubbly underneath.

The mixture when heated in the oven gets a lot more liquidy so don’t worry if your cold mixture appears a little thick.

The pie-off was a great idea for a fun night. All pies were marked on taste - creativity and presentation. The total scores were added together to determine the winner. We cooked the pies in rotation and then everyone had a little taste then - then a little taste of the next pie - - so nobody got stuffed but everybody was well fed.

Aoife created a shepherds pie with minced venison and juniper berries, which was the tastiest shepherd pie I’ve ever eaten.Darragh created a sumptuous Moroccan lamb pie with toasted cumin seeds rolled into the pastry - a fantastic idea! Nice big lumps of carrot in there too. He added in some 'ras al-hanout' which I've never heard of, so I bet this was the secret ingredient.


aoife mc said...

Nom nom! Thoughts of your pie have stayed with me ever since, it was so amazing. Going to be making it sometime over christmas, for super shizzle.

Such a fun night - can't wait til the next food-based battle!

Lu said...

yup food based battles are the way forward - round two in 2010!

Let me know if you make it over christmas - I really want to make it again just so I can have a bigger slice ....