Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I know I'm not Irish but when has that ever stopped anybody from enjoying a drop of the black stuff on 17th March? It has also given us the chance to make a pie. We are pastry mad in this house. Any excuse for a pie, flan, tart, pasty or vol-au-vent is grabbed with gusto. This normally turns into a lunch dish or a dessert so a full pie for an evening meal is great news.
Such is our passion for pies we have discussed at length what constitutes the perfect pie. This conversation normally takes place in a pub after a less than perfect example has been served. A stew with a pastry lid is not a pie. A pastry base with no lid is not a pie. You need a bottom, top and sides before you can claim to have made a pie*. This is when we start getting serious. My ideal pie has a short crust base and a puff pastry lid. The base is blind baked so that it doesn't go soggy, the filling is piled in and lovely flaky lid is added.
Our filling of braising steak, onions, celery, mushrooms and Guinness, was pre-cooked. I know a true pie should all be cooked together but it's my kitchen and therefore my rules. Once cooked, we served our pie with colcannon for that added nod to St. Patrick.
*There are of course exceptions that prove the rule, these include a fish pie, shepherd's pie or cottage pie. For some reason these mashed potato topped cuddles in a dish, pass the pie test by being furthest from the definition.