52 Cookbooks #11: Veal and mushroom pie

You can't beat a pie. And you definitely can't beat a Hairy Bikers pie. With my parents coming for dinner this week it was the ideal opportunity to make one, so this week my recipe comes from The Hairy Bikers' Perfect Pies.

I had some veal from our local butcher in the freezer so decided to use that instead of chicken. Apart from that I pretty much followed the recipe for the "deep-filled chicken and mushroom pie" - it's a pie with a shortcrust bottom and a puff pastry lid. 

About eating veal.  The veal I buy comes from my local butcher and he sources all of his meat responsibly so I have no qualms about buying or eating veal. This is an excerpt from an article in the Guardian:  

"British rose veal has already won the ethical stamp of approval from the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) but it remains a niche market in the UK, just0.1% of the meat we consume each year."

The shortcrust pastry was home made but thankfully there was no need to make puff pastry, which seems a faff to far for me. 

During the morning as well as making the pastry and lining the pie dish I made the filling allowing it to cool before assembling later. As is the cook's prerogative I tasted some and it was good...

In the end the shop bought puff pastry caused it's own mini-drama as M&S were having one of those weeks where they weren't selling pastry... of any kind.  Usually I'd have some in the freezer, but couldn't see any on my freezer lists (yes, I know it's a bit OCD to list the contents of my freezer, but it works for me, usually). 

A mini-drama because getting out to the supermarket proved impossible in between the Gardeners arriving half-unexpectedly to fit some trellis, my parents arriving and unloading what looked like enough bags for a two week stay (they were here overnight ahead of a week in Dubrovnik) as well as getting the house ship shape for their stay. 

So I asked MOH to pick some up on his way home. By this stage it was the sort of conversation that ended with "just get any sort of puff pastry, or failing that any kind of pastry or we'll be having an open-topped pie for tea..."  Not wanting to do wrong MOH arrived home with a selection of puff pastry - a frozen block (hmmmnn), an unfrozen block and some ready rolled unfrozen sheets. By now it was close to 19:30 so the last option won...

And breathe. With its puff pastry lid hastily thrown on, the pie was in the oven. My "pastry luck" continued (see my lastpuff pastry attempt) - somehow it shrunk away from the edge a bit and seemed to square itself off. Looking into the oven my pie looked like it had a duvet thrown over the top of it!

It looked like this when it came out do the oven, none of us minded the slightly sunken pastry as it tasted divine, although the bottom was a little soggy!

If anyone knows why I have this trouble with pastry lids (puff pastry in particular) I'd be keen to know - thanks. 

The verdict:

  • It tasted great, there were four clean plates at the end of this meal
  • Veal was a good substitute for the chicken breasts listed in the recipe
  • A mix of shortcrust and puff pastry was a good combination
  • You can't beat a good pie, and this was a good pie!

And guess what, when I put the surplus blocks of pastry in the freezer, guess what I found?  Yep, some puff pastry - I'd had some all along and my mini-pastry-drama could have been avoided!!  It was clearly one of those days...

This week The Good Life Mum is hosting 52 Cookbooks, so pop over there and see what everyone's been cooking.