Last night I made a pie for our Valentine's dinner - with it being Midget Gem's birthday too we kind of let the day of mushy lovers slide us by, but I wanted to make some effort with a nice dinner, cooked from scratch, to show my husband how special HE is too, and I thought a pie would be nice - but I also wanted it to be the whole meal in one dish, so I made love pie - the greatest pie I've ever tasted, super delicious, and straight forward.
This is a big pie and would serve 6-8; unless you're greedy like us, in which case you can eat a quarter each two nights running.
I made the pastry from scratch using the recipe in (of course) my handy Be-Ro recipe book (if you haven't stolen your Mum's copy yet get on it!)
If you HAVEN'T stolen it I discovered something almost as wonderful - the recipe book is ONLINE now and you can find the recipe for the rough puff pastry I made here - hurrah for Be-Ro recipes!
I used butter in place of lard/marge because it tastes nicer and I had it - I don't have lard very often and marge is minging.
Once that was made I rolled out two thirds of the pastry to make the pie bottom and lined the dish I was going to use, which was a pretty big one, then popped that and the pastry for the top into the fridge.
Then I made the filling - here's what you need to do.
Bottom layer - mash!
I peeled, chopped and boiled two big potatoes (this is a pretty big pie) then mashed them with a splash of milk, dash of salt and some butter. I spooned this into the pie base and squashed it all flat then popped it back into the fridge whilst I made the meat layer.
>2 onions finely chopped
>400g steak diced (I used stewing steak, you can use whatever you have, if you want a veg pie replace steak with thickly sliced mushrooms or some kind of pretend mince if you're AN ANIMAL.)
>two beef stock cubes
>half a pint of water
>2 tbsp of Henderson's Relilsh or Worcestershire sauce
>half a cup of port
>1-2 tsp black peppercorns bashed a bit to crack them but not powder them
>two cups of diced carrot/swede mix (I always buy this mix for Geordie mash pre-cubed because find chopping swedes tiresome and the kids eat it a lot)
In a great big heavy bottomed pan, splosh a dollop (that is a technical cooking term) of whatever oil you like and cook the onions for the endlessly long and tiresome period it takes to soften them.
Add your diced meat and brown it off. Pinch a bit back out to eat rare because my goodness it's delicious.
Add your stock cubes, crumbled up (unless you have those posh gooey ones) (as an alternative you could use a spoon of marmite which gives a really good, rich flavour without any actual beef or animal, of you're one of them there vegetarians) then your Hendricksons and your port. Stir it all around to make a nice paste on everything, then add your water and peppercorns.
Add your vegetables and stir it all together and simmer for as long as it takes to get your veg softened. I like my veg quite crunchy so I didn't cook it for too much longer at this point.
Pop your oven on to 200c and get your pie base and extra pastry out of the fridge.
Spoon your delicious meaty goodness onto your pie base and roll out your top, brush the edge of the base with milk and pop the top on and squish it all around the edge to seal the pie up.
With a sharp knife whip off any pastry that's poking over the top of your dish looking messy, then use that to make a heart (or whatever shape you like) for the top. Cut a little cross into the pie in the centre of the heart (to let some steam out and stop it going soggy) and brush the top all over with milk.
Cook for 20-30 minutes (or as long as it takes to get two small, very excited boys to bed with a couple of stories - if you take too long your pie will burn so consider bribery/threats if necessary) then serve with a glass of port, a big snog and lots of happiness.