Thursday, 6 October 2011

Headline shouts: Boy makes good pie!

A great feature of the current post PhD madness, is that we're doing a lot more together as a family. Thursdays are 'mother and son Thursdays' tasks range from poltyunnel building, recycled yard storage building to ditch cleaning and in between getting on with other things we're also cooking. (We do wash our hands inbetween tasks, honest!) Today was a pass it on lesson in makng more home made food, today it was steak pie, which was filled with slow cooked Orkney beef steak and rustic vegetables.  Being almost 17 my son will be leaving home next year, we're trying to get his cooking skills with *hopefully some seasonal food* (which is generally cheaper to buy) and help his budgeting skills honed for when he's living on his own.Well thats the theory. We cooked this as we've decided its winter. Autumn has come and gone here, that was one day last week, today its winter, brrrrr.

Very simple pie recipe
Local beef (any meat would do)
1 tbsp local oil or butter
1 clove garlic
1 large onion chopped as you like
3-4 ex-garden class display carrots rustically chopped
2 pints stock
2 bay leaves
Gravy for thickening, pastry (due to time/laziness, we used shop bought, you could easily make your own)

Cube meat and seal by frying in hot casserole dish with oil and garlic. When sealed add onions and carrots, bay leaf, cover meat and vegetabales with stock. Bring to simmer and keep on a low heat or in an oven for 2-3 hours. Thicken juices into gravy and serve if casserole, or if a pie, leave to cool slightly. Roll pastry out (shop bought is fine), line a dish with pastry, add stew, use remaining pastry for lid, tucking the edges together, make a few slits on top for the steam to get out. Bake for 20-30 mins, if you add tatties to the oven they bake for free. Delish.Whilst I'm no food photographer, it tasted great!
A two in one recipe really, casseroles or stews are relatively straightforward and once you've managed that technique you can cook up most types of stew. Taking it a step further with him into making a pie, even with shop bought pastry, just adds another dimension for his skills. Well done that boy. We costed the pie out - reduced local meat, shop bought pastry (lazy but convenient) and home grown vegetables/herbs, the cost was less than £3.00 for a home made pie which would have fed 6 easily. When he leaves, I'm hoping he won't have any excuse to starve or buy alot of pre-packaged pre cooked food, its far too expensive.

Well thats the theory, if he lives on chips and pop, up to him, but his money won't last long!


  1. Can't believe you had pie without me there! In a huff!

    Mr Flowers .

  2. In our defence, he's practising for when you visit..... :)

  3. Can I visit too ...........looks fab!

    My 20 yr old son loves cooking too.

  4. WHy haven't I happed on your blog before. Orkney flowers! I had student holidays on the Mainland, sharing I bicycle to get to Kirkwall to provision up ..mealy jim for breakfast. aaaaaaaagh nostalgia.

  5. Can I have cooking lessons too to add to my gardening lessons?!

  6. Sian, I'm a better cook than a gardener. I learnt to garden cos I like eating! Happy to help anytime!

  7. Catharine, hello! Nice to see you too.

  8. The boy will be much in demand in his state of independance with cokking and budgeting skills. I still think you need to teach him some martial arts so that he can protect himself from would-be exploiters. I can just see him being chained to a kitchen stove somewhere...