Saturday, 8 October 2011

Easy Peasy Student Pie

I'm from the north of England, pie is practically a life source. This is not a glamourise, difficult, fancy pie that takes forever to make. Its student food, its cheap easy and there are some cheats in there too.

All you need is;
3 Potatoes, doesn't matter what kind
4 average sized carrots
1 large onion or two average ones
Pork loin half
1 shot of vodka
Flour about three cup fulls
Butter about a cup full
1 garlic clove
pepper corns
1 jar of tomato paste sauce (or home made I know I'm lazy today)

Firstly roughly cut your potatoes up into bite sized chunks, don't bother peeling. If you notice your chopping board is slipping fold a tea towel up and place it underneath, that should prevent slipping. Add the potatoes to a pan full of boiling water and allow to cook.

While they are cooking, dice the onions and cut the carrots to slightly smaller than the potatoes. Again don't bother to peel the carrots as it is quite a large pie the left overs will get reheated so you want the skins to provide a bit of crunch. when the onions are slightly translucent add about a pint of water and a vegetable stock cube and cook for a future minute.

Add the capers (as many or as few at you like, I used about eight), the skinned garlic clove and the pepper corns (again you know how many you like) to pestle and mortar. Crush them until a lumpy paste. Then scrap out as much of the paste as you can and add to the carrots and onions.

Drain the potatoes and add them too a pie dish, or a oven tray if you are a student without a pie dish :)
 mix with the carrots and shake so its evenly distributed.

Take your half pork loin and roughly chop it so the pieces are the same size and sear in the pan you cooked the onions in. Don't cook it all the way through just cook the outside to help seal in the flavour.
When you've done that put the pork in the dish with everything else making sure it is evenly distributed.

Cheat time I'm afraid, I was running out of time so I just used a jar of Asda own brand Bolognese sauce to make the liquid in my pie. I poured half out in to the dish then filled the jar with water, shuck it up and poured that over the top.

Add your flour, butter and vodka together in a bowl. Have the butter as large chunks you want some left so its marbled through out. Don't work it too much just until you have a doughy ball, then wrap it and leave in the fridge for half an hour.  The vodka is to make it go crispy because as it heats up the alcohol evaporates and puffs up the surface slightly.

As you can tell from the picture I am not currently in possession of a rolling pin or a wine bottle. Roll out your pastry, hopefully better than I did and pierce the top. Place in an oven at gas mark 6 for about 20 minutes but you can really rely on sight to tell when its done. The pastry will be pale but crisp.

It might not look like much but it is delicious and most importantly ridiculously cheap to make. Sure there are cheats and the quantity is a bit much for three people but I was happy to live off the left overs for like three days. 

Belinda Stepford

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