Lorna, I absolutely will not write a recipe for mince pies, but here’s one for Steak & Kidney Pie. It’s a mix between a Nigella Lawson recipe, a Glasgow Cookery Book one and my own laziness.
Ingredientsa big onion or 2 medium ones a big carrot or 2 medium ones 1 or 2 celery sticks 3 or 4 sage leaves lard or dripping (or olive oil if you really have to. But the others taste better) flour (about 4 tablespoons) pepper and grated nutmeg 500g beef (whatever joint you fancy, just chop it up into chunks) 250g kidneys (lambs kidneys taste milder than pork) a tin of stout and enough beef stock to make it up to about 400ml Pastry: 1/2 teaspoon salt 200g SR flour (or 200g plain flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder) 75 – 100g suet
Method1. Put the onion, carrot, celery and sage leaves into a food processor and blend into little pieces. Stop before it’s mush. 2. Cook this with a spoon of dripping in a big heavy frying pan over a medium heat for 5 mins or so till it’s soft. Decant it to a casserole dish, 3. Put the flour in a bowl with a bit of seasoning (pepper and nutmeg). Flour the steak and kidney cubes. 4. Heat more dripping in the frying pan and fry the meat in little batches, moving it to the casserole dish when it’s browned on all sides. 5. Pour any remaining flour in the empty frying pan, add the stout and stock, scrape any burnt bits off, and pour it into the casserole dish. 6. Cover and simmer for 2 hours on low (either in a cool oven or on the hob) 7. Mix all the pastry ingredients. Add around 125ml of water and stir. Add more water or flour until you get a soft paste. 8. Pat and squash the pastry with your hands till it’s the shape of your pie / casserole dish. 9. Put pastry over the meat (either same casserole dish – replace the metal lid with your pastry lid! – or use a pie dish) and put in a preheated oven (Gas Mark 7/210degC) for 10 mins, then turn down to Gas 5/190degC for 25 mins.