It’s less than a fortnight now until Fairytale Food is out and I’m now beyond excited about it!
Here is the gorgeous illustration for the ‘Climbing the Beanstalk’ chapter – Jack is taking a breather halfway up the beanstalk and he’s tucking into some delicious dishes.
Yelena Bryksenkova is the illustrator, please take a look at her blog and her work, its completely brilliant!
And, I thought I’d share one of the recipes from this chapter…The Giant’s Steak Pie.
The Giant’s Steak Pie
‘Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he alive or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.’
225g plain flour
a pinch of salt
110g cold butter
approx. 2–3 tablespoons cold water
1 large egg, beaten
½ tablespoon olive oil, for frying
1kg braising steak, cut into 2cm cubes
2 onions, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g button mushrooms, halved
2 teaspoons mushroom ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon plain flour
600ml good-quality beef stock
2 bay leaves
To make the filling:
- I would advise making the pie filling a day in advance – it takes a good couple of hours to cook and must be completely cold when it goes into the pastry. If you put the filling in hot, your pie will suffer from a soggy bottom and that just won’t do.
- Heat the oil in a large pan on a high heat and brown the cubes of beef in batches, placing them aside in a bowl once done.
- Turn the heat down to a moderate level and fry the onions in the meaty juices until they start to soften. If you find they are starting to stick to the pan or catch, add a little salt.
- Next, add the mushrooms, mushroom ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and cook for a few minutes.
- Return the beef to the pan and add the flour – make sure that all the meat and vegetables are coated in the flour. Then start to add the stock, stirring as you go to ensure that all the flour is incorporated – this will make gloriously thick pie gravy.
- Add the bay leaves and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down and let the filling gently simmer on the hob for a good 2 hours or so, until the beef is meltingly tender and the gravy has thickened and reduced. When cooked, leave the filling to cool completely.
To make the pastry:
- Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and rub in the butter to form a crumbly mixture.
- Add the water a spoonful at a time, stirring it well into the mixture – you may need more or less water than I’ve suggested here, so just add it gradually until you can bring the dough together with your hands.
- Divide the dough into 2 balls, wrap them in clingfilm or place them in polythene bags, and put them into the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.
- As this pie has a top and a bottom you’ll need to roll out the bottom layer of pastry first, put it into your pie dish and blind bake it in the oven at 210°C/190°C fan/gas mark 6½ for about 20 minutes, until it is golden brown. Once cooked leave it to cool down.
- Once cooled, add the filling, then roll out the remaining pastry and top the pie, crimping the edges to seal. Trim any excess pastry from the sides and brush the top of the pie with beaten egg – this will give it a gorgeous golden colour when it’s cooked.
- When you’re ready to cook the pie, preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas mark 6½ and bake it for 30–40 minutes, until the pastry and filling are thoroughly cooked through.
- Once cooked, let the pie stand for about 5 minutes before cutting it. I like to serve it with mashed or boiled potatoes, some garden peas or green beans.