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Saturday, December 7, 2013

SMALL MEAT & VEGETABLE PIES: RECIPES...18th Century Britain revised recipe

Here are some great ideas and revised recipes for little pies that originated in Britain, probably long before the 18th century.
Hand-held pies and pasties were one of the first "Fast Foods"..taken into the fields, mines and factories to feed the work force.
Similar ideas are found throughout the world, they are very economical and very very tasty.
Great for any meal as they may be filled with cooked eggs, meat, fish or vegetables.
You make them the size you prefer and this is REALLY a global Recipe as you can quickly make it your own.

Use whatever is fresh and available in your markets, where it calls for  cooked meats or fish make sure that they are freshly cooked and not a few days old, as this can lead to food poisoning later.

The basic crust for all these pies is:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp wheat germ/ground flax seed/rice bran
3/4 cup cold margarine (do not use butter as it can spoil)
4 - 5 tbsp cold, fresh water

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together, and with 2 knives or a a pastry cutter, cut in the  margarine, until well mixed  (like fine breadcrumbs, this takes so  time so be patient, big pieces of fat will make the pastry dry).
In spoonfuls add the cold water, mixing in with the knives until the mixture just holds together.
Form into a ball and wrap in waxed paper and chill/rest for 1 hour minimum.

Meat or Fish Rissoles (this is the old English name for them, they are not the frozen hockey pucks also known as rissoles that are so WW2 UK)

2 cup chopped/ground cooked lean meat or flaked fish
2 cups  stock

1tbsp  butter
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1tbsp  all purpose flour
1tbsp minced parsley or cilantro
pinch of ground nutmeg or spice of choice
Salt & Pepper

 the pastry recipe above.

2 large eggs beaten
2 cups dry bread crumbs
neutral oil to deep fry

 In an heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the butter and saute the onion and garlic for 2-3 mins.
Add the flour and mix well and slowly add the hot stock to make a roux and sauce.
Add the chopped meat/fish and cook for 20 mins on high simmer, removing any scum that floats to surface.
Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, and fold in chopped parsley.

Pour into a greased ovenproof dish ( 13 x9 x 2inch or 8 x 8 inch) and allow to cool.

On a floured board roll half the pastry out to 1/4inch thick or less., cut into 3 inch rounds.
put a couple of spoonfuls of the cold meat mix in the middle of each round, and egg wash to seal the edges.
Roll in half into half moon shapes, brush allover with egg wash and dip in dry breadcrumbs, shake off excess.
Fry in very hot oil, until golden brown.
remove and drain on wire rack(kitchen paper will cause them to become soft)..serve with fresh salsas, hot sauces, chutneys & etc.

The Filling can be made using fresh vegetables ..just saute longer and then make the roux and sauce, and add some grated cheese before sealing and frying.

Breakfast/brunch ones can be made using sausage meat, bacon, ham, and scrambled eggs!

Dessert ones can be made using cream cheese and any cooked fruits ( not too juicy please), with added cinnamon or allspice, or chocolate chips. nuts & etc.
The fillings are endless as are the appetites...lol

Lentil/bean Rissoles

2 cup cooked lentils/beans
2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic smashed and minced
2 tbsp margarine/butter
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots, (or celery, leeks, bell peppers etc. )
1 cup mashed or shredded cooked potatoes
1/2 tsp ground spice ( cumin, cardamon, curry, garam masala & etc.)

pastry recipe as above

2 eggs well beaten

Dry breadcrumbs

Neutral oil for frying

Saute the onion and garlic in the margarine for 2-3 mins.
Add the other vegetables and cook on very low simmer for 10 mins, until juices have been released.
Add the cooked lentils, mix well and heat until hot, adding a little water or vegetable stock to prevent sticking.
Add chopped herbs and remove from heat, pour into greased ovenproof dish and proceed as in previous recipe.

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