Sunday, 15 December 2013

Spicy Meat Pie Recipe and today's boot sale bargains



350g/12 oz plain flour
150g/5 oz butter or margarine, cut into flakes
1 egg yolk
6 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten toglaze


1 bread roll
6 tablespoons hot milk
1 onion
50g/2 oz streaky bacon
350g/12 oz minced pork and veal (I normally just use the pork mince)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
6 tablespoons single cream
pinch each of salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper, ground allspice, ground cardamom and dried basil
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind.

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and dot with the butter.  Form a well in the centre and add the egg yolk, water and salt.  Starting at the centre, knead all the ingredients quickly together to form a pastry dough. Wrap in foil or cling film and leave for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Crumble the bread roll into a basin and spoon the milk over it.  Finely chop the onion, Dice the bacon and fry with the onion until golden brown, turning continuously.  In a bowl, mix the minced meats with the squeezed breadcrumbs, the bacon and onion mixture, parsley, cream, seasoning, spices and lemon rind.  The mixture should be highly spiced.  (Note: I find this tasty, rather than hot.)

Preheat the oven to hot (220 deg. C, 425 deg. F, Gas mark 7).  Roll out 2/3 of the dough on a floured board to line a 20cm/8" sandwich cake tin, leaving a border of about 3mm/ 1/8" above the tin.  Prick the pastry base in several places and spread the filling smoothly over it.  Roll out the rest of the dough to the size of the tin, place over the filling and seal the edges well.  Make a small hole in the centre.  Brush the surface with beaten egg and pierce in several places with a skewer. From the remains of the pastry cut out flowers, leaves and stalks, and use to decorate the pie.  Brush with beaten egg and bake the pie for about 1 hour.  Cover with foil after 45 mins.  Place on a serving dish and serve hot.  (Note: this is equally good cold.)  It's a really good pie for a Christmas feast or equally obliging for a summer picnic . . .

The weather here, however, hasn't been terribly obliging.  After yesterday's strong winds and heavy rain, it cleared long enough this morning for us to have a wander round the boot sale, though there weren't many people selling (hardly surprising given the weather and the proximity of Christmas).  The usual house clearance people were there and you never know what turns up.  I idly looked at some 1950s or 60s recipes that the (presumably late) Miss E Lewis, formerly of Nottinghamshire, had saved.  I asked the price of her sewing box and contents, but at £25, too pricey.  I - stupidly - picked up a bag and examined the vintage garment within.  Well, vintage or not, it absolutely REEKED in the way that only something much worn and never washed for many years (and the body wearing it) can reek.  - ych a fi as they say in our neck of the woods!  I couldn't wait to wash my hands after that!

Anyway, on another stall  two lovely old jugs caught my eye, and reader, know that I bought them!

This is a lovely little Gaudy Welsh jug, with what the trade calls a caterpillar handle (see link).  It ends in a little - Chinese? - face.  Update:  research has shown this is actually a Hydra (hence the face).  This design can be found on Mason's ironstone jugs c. 1820.

It's going on my dresser and I shall enjoy it - normally I couldn't afford to buy one of these, but at £3 I splashed out!  HERE is a link to a Gaudy specialist.

 This is the other jug, which cost me £5, but I loved the jade green colouring and the hand painted flowers.  I would date this towards the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign.  I'll try and find out a little bit more about it when I have time to sit down with one of our collectables or antiques books.

Yesterday I had a busy morning in the kitchen, and made a Cheese Loaf, and Apple Yeastbread.

Sorry about the flash being pointed too low.  Not that it affected the flavour of the bread!

Basically it is a standard bread dough, rolled out, then sprinkled with chopped apples, sugar, and cinnamon, rolled up and cooked in a square cake tin.  Then you brush it with melted syrup when it comes out of the oven. . Just the thing for a winter's day . . .


  1. I love your 2 purchases; just lovely! And the baking looks heavenly. Thanks for your wonderful posts. I always enjoy them.

  2. Oh I love the little jugs! And the two pies look great.

  3. I don't eat much pastry since embarking on my quest to shed a couple of stone but the pictures look so appetising!

  4. Oh no more food-you are making me soooo hungry with all your lovely recipes. Great boot sale buys too.

  5. I love the look of your cheese bread and the apple rolls. WHY must the comfort food of winter tend toward fattening us?
    I wish I could set out a few of my bits of vintage china--nothing is safe from the cats--on any level surface!

  6. MM - do you have a glass-fronted display case? My best bits of china are up on high shelves, hanging from the beams or in the Dining Room, where cats aren't allowed.

    1. Something strange is happening and I can't get the comments box up, so I'm replying instead! Love the Welsh jug and I will DEFINITELY be making that pie. x

  7. BB I shall make that spicy meat pie for my New Year's eve hot table - it sounds just right and I can make it a while in advance. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Em - well blame Blogger (it has broad shoulders). Glad you'll be making that pie. I sometimes make it with a sausagemeat centre (mixed with the spices). Or you can use one of the more interesting sausage flavours now available, and do without the spices, relying on the flavouring of the sausage. Very quick to make then.

    Pat - I hope you all enjoy it.

  9. The little jugs, BB, are just as charming as the baby Prince George himself for the holiday. The hue/shade of green used in the Gaudy appeals to me deep down inside from another lifetime.