Hello Dear Reader! The noise you hear is of me knees knocking in nervousness as I've just put up my first self-made recipe video! I've been working on it for what seems a lifetime and I really hope that you enjoy it. I know that it's full of errors and terrible amateurish but hopefully things improve. Please let me know what you think of it! I'm thinking of doing these regularly so please subscribe to get the latest videos! xxx
Anyway, back to the post...
There are definitely times when I only make sense to myself.
There was the time I was about to hop into the shower. Excitedly I said to Mr NQN, "You know I think this shower cap is magical! I'm pretty sure I've had it for two years. This has got to be magic!"
And just a few weeks ago we were going out to eat and I was giving him directions. I pointed at the car ahead of us. "Turn where that car that looks like a hamster turned!" Well, he missed the turn because he wasn't able to see the hamster car instead muttering about cars that look nothing like hamsters (there are!).
Then there was the time when I was watching television and the thought suddenly occurred to me. "Did you know that ponky rhymes with donkey?".
Mr NQN shook his head and said, "I think you get weirder every day. I can't wait to see what you'll be like when you're 80 years old." I should say that it was said with a slight amount of fear in his voice.
Anyway, sometimes I make things so strange that I think if I revealed themselves to the world, the doctors will come and take me away. This is one of those times. This is Snow White's Evil Stepmother Pie.
I was putting away one of my oval cast iron pans and thought that the handle reminded me of a hand mirror. I then rumbled through the vegetable crisper to see what I could make for dinner that night. I came up with some beetroot and chillies. I also had a package of gravy beef and some coconut milk. I decided that I wanted to make a savoury beef and beetroot pie shaped like a mirror. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps just to see if it would work.
The pie filling was easy. Truthfully I've made something similar before and although it sounds really, really strange, it is absolutely delicious. When it came to the pie decoration, I was a bit more nervous. I wanted to make a mirror much like the one from the fairytale Snow White where the evil stepmother looks into the mirror and asks "Mirror Mirror on the Wall, who is the fairest of them all?"
This pie will be part of this year's Halloween spread. Often Halloween is full of sweet treats which is delightful in itself but since I have people over around dinner time I feel the need to feed them savouries along with the sweets. If beef and beetroot is just a little too weird for you then you can certainly fill it with your favourite pie filling or even make it sweet - a cherry pie would be gorgeous as well as suitably Halloween-y as cherries also look like blood clots!
Yes I worry about myself too. I dread to think what I'll be like when I'm 80!
So tell me Dear Reader, what do you want to be like when you're 80? And are you a sweet or savoury pie person? And what else would you like to see in a tutorial?
Snow White's Evil Stepmother Pie
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
For beef, beetroot and chilli pie
- Oil for frying
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 350g/12.36ozs. gravy beef, cut into small chunks
- 1 large beetroot, cut into small chunks
- 1 large red chilli, diced
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to season
- 3 sheets shortcrust pastry
- 1 egg yolk
- Paring knife
- Ravioli cutter
Step 1 - Heat a cast iron pot on medium heat and add a couple of tablesoons of oil. Saute the onion, garlic and coriander until softened and fragrant. Add the beef and brown all over. Add the beetroot, chilli, beef stock and bay leaves and cover and simmer for 1.5 hours until beef is tender. Add the coconut milk and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool. You can serve this with roti or rice if you don't want to make the pie.
Step 2 - Take an oval skillet and line with a sheet of thawed shortcrust pastry. I find that if you thaw it to the right amount then it is easy to work with - essentially you don't want it too floppy or thawed but you do want it pliable.
Step 3 - Cut out a top by turning over the skillet and cutting around a second sheet of pastry. Set aside.
Step 4 - Process the filling in a food processor so that it isn't lumpy and fill the pie with the filling and smooth with a palette knife. Place the other oval on top and seal it by gently pressing down on the sides. Using a paring knife cut out the remnants of the pastry to make a pattern around the "mirror". I made a bow and two rims around it. Cut out a face and crown - free form is fine as long as the pastry is not too hot which makes cutting difficult. I also punched out a few "jewels" in the crown with a straw. Glaze with the egg yolk and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Step 5- Preheat oven to 220C/440F and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.