You will NOT believe what Hairy has done to his hair.
Evidently in the night he must have snuck out to see that French Fleece-Dresser down the road and has turned up this morning with a very cool DO. Apparantly Mama is still not coming out to play so he is pulling in his beer gut and tarting himself up a bit.
I Have to say that these pictures do not do justice to this terribly interesting piece of work. There is a lot of green and pink in there as well.
More importantly. I am going to make a New Zealand Steak Pie today. In NZ every gas station, every store, every cafe, every bakery has a pie oven filled with small steak pies. You grab your little brown paper bag, and whip the pie of your choice from the pie oven and then eat it straight OUT OF THE BAG. This is very important. This is something we all learned at our mothers knee of course. How to eat a meat pie, while it is REALLY hot and dripping with dark heavy gravy, encased in the flakiest of flaky pastry in the world without making a mess!
It is a point of honour to be able to eat your hot hot pie whilst driving, cleaning a small child’s face, switching channels on the radio and honking loudly at those bad mannered drivers. Crumbs in your lap take off points, but hot gravy on your chin and you are disqualified. It is an artform. A lot of practice is needed. Not too much or you will ‘put on the pies” NZ for get fat. In the US people say “mm I feel like pie” they say what kind , custard, pecan etc. In NZ we say ‘mm I feel like a pie’ and they say ‘Buy me one too!’
There is steak and cheese, steak and onion, steak and mushroom, potato topped. Chicken and apricot, smoked fish, bacon and egg. And many many more. DROOLING YET!? We will make a family sized steak and onion pie today that you can eat with a knife and fork. Phew I hear you say.
Go for the All Butter Pie Crust. So before we start, go and get half a pound of butter, chop it up into little blocks and then pop it into the freezer.
He thought you might like a closer look. Evidently there are lots of grass seeds and weed seeds woven in somehow.! Must have taken ever such a long time.
Make the pastry, form two balls, wrap and return to the fridge. Keep chilled always.
You are going to love this. Maybe we will put some cheese in too. By the way this is my gift to all the NZers in the US and all the USers who love the NZers in the US and want to make them a special treat. And all the USers in the US who want to eat like a NZer in NZ. Please don’t make me repeat that!
1. In a big heavy bottomed pot, slice two big onions thinly, butter in the pan, and saute on extra low for about 15 minutes. When they are transparent, cover very thinly in balsamic vinegar and reduce until balsamic is gone but still shiny. Remove onions to a dish to wait.
2. Using a reasonably good cut of beef. I rummaged in the freezer and found a piece of sirloin. Slice into 1 inch cubes. In small batches toss in butter until browned, pouring off and saving all the juice each time.
3. Combine meat and onions, pepper and salt, Beef stock to cover, beef juice, soy sauce and worcester sauce, herbs (thyme for me),a touch of your favourite chilli sauce – all to taste and if you have any – a teaspoon of marmite. Cook slowly uncovered for at least an hour or until the meat is very tender but holding its shape. In fact the longer you cook it the better. Add more beef stock if it starts to get dry.
4. Thicken with corn powder or corn starch mixed with some of the gravy. I know this is cheating but it is TRADITION! Not gluggy but not runny. Sit to the side to cool slightly.
Taste and Pause.
Chop about 4 fat slices of cheese into cubes, put to the side.
Nope. No reaction at all. Poor Hairy. You are going to have to pull out all the stops buddy.
Now moving swiftly. Roll out two sheets of pastry the right size for your dish. Line the dish, add the meat, sprinkle with cheese cubes, cover with the next sheet of pastry. Pinch the edges together quickly but carefully. Decorate with left over bits of pastry. Make three little slits in the top for air to escape. Into the hot oven. Every oven I have ever cooked in has needed different cooking times. I am using gas now and so it takes about 45 minutes at 400. When that pastry is high and puffy and golden browned, and you think the bottom is well cooked. (Sometimes you can slide a knife in there and lift to see.) Bring your pie out and place onto some kind of trivet so the bottom will cool as well.
However we never let it cool for long. We eat it too hot!
In my home this is always served with mashed potatoes. Try this new one. YUM. Today we are also having marinated tomatoes. These are terribly easy. Evidently Our Johns tomatoes are going to be fruiting until the end of time! So we still have tomatoes at every meal. And I am not sick of them yet!
Now I have done this all backwards today. I have written you the recipe BEFORE I make it. So please refer to my friends links above for gorgeous food pictures and I am off into the kitchen.
Now if I were to open a pie shop. My grandmother had a pie shop in the 40’s but that is another story. What (savoury) fillings would you like me to make for you?
Tomorrow I am going to talk about your autumn gardens. Hope you have all started! There is growing time left you know! Hopefully!