Some days just call for pie. There is something comforting about taking a pie from the oven, crust steaming, begging to be cut open. When it is grey outside, the sort of grey that never lifts and makes you feel as though the sun will never come again, pie brings a little sunshine into the day. There is something comforting about eating pie. They remind me of my grandmother’s cooking and story books I used to read. Stories where pies were left to cool on the windowsill and adventuring children stole them. Taking them deep into the woods to eat while they were still steaming and returning the empty dish.
This weekend I decided to try making steak pie. Shop bought pies can be disappointing, looking chunky and promising meat but being filled mainly with air and carrots. A steak pie should be filled with meat and oozing gravy when the crust is cut. It should be a filling dish, sufficient to eat alone or with mash. I have made steak and ale pie before but wanted this just to be a comforting steak pie. Steak has a touch of luxury about it which a chicken pie does not deliver.
It gave me an opportunity to use my new pie dishes that I bought the other day. Previously I had to make do with casserole dishes. These little pie dishes were perfect, allowing me to make smaller pies easily divided into family sized portions. I love the colour of them as well, a restful sea green that makes the pie look more rustic.
I was really please with the way my steak pie turned out. Whist my crust will not be wining any prizes for pretty pastry decoration, the pie itself was delicious. Big chunks of steak in a meaty gravy with onions and carrots in the mix. I used ready bought puff pastry to make life easier. Whilst I do make a mean shortcrust pastry I have never made puff pastry. If I had the time I am sure I could perfect the technique but in reality life is just too short. I don’t think my family would wait for their dinner while I perfected pastry.
The great thing about the pie is that if you are busy you can easily prepare the meat the day before and put it in the pie dishes with the uncooked pastry. The next day all you need to do is to pop the pies in the oven for half an hour and it is a really quick and easy dinner. Definitely much nicer than shop bought and more satisfying when you make it yourself.