Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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The Great British Bake Off ~ My recipe for beef & ale pie

Today I’m a little later than usual sharing my recipe for the Great Blogger Bake Off, but here it finally is! Today I’m enjoying a delicious beef and ale pie which I’ve made (with a lot of help from my husband – the king of beef!) using a great local ale and tasty seasonal ingredients to create a delicious winter warmer pie with a crispy puff pastry lid. This kind of dish is one of my favourites during the colder months, and you can easily stew up double portions of the pie filling, and have pie one day then casserole the next!

I went to the local farm shop to pick up my ingredients – oddly enough I’ve not yet grown any of these vegetables in my garden, but I now know that they are a must for the veggie patch next year! It was loads cheaper to buy my fresh veg from the farm shop than I had imagined, my carrots were 50p, a massive bunch of leeks were 80p and a big bag of mushrooms were about the same price. As I made my purchases I was even told where the leeks had come from (just up the road) and the name of the chap of grew them (Don)! I made double portions so that hubby and I have a casserole to enjoy tomorrow, and I still didn’t even use up all the veg, so it was a super-cheap way to cook a filling meal!

Ingredients for 1 pie: 1 large or 2 small diced carrots per person, 1/2 onion per person, 1 leek per person, 5 button mushrooms per person, 150g diced stewing beef per person. And for the sauce: a lovely local ale, 1 teaspoon garlic paste, 2 beef stock cubes, 2 tablespoons of flour, bouquet garni (containing rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano from my herb garden), salt and pepper

Toss the beef in the flour and cook in a hot oven-proof pan until browned, set aside. Fry the onions, diced carrots, leeks and mushrooms in a little fry light in the same pan, before adding the beef back in. Add the garlic paste, bouquet garni, beef stock dissolved in enough boiling water to cover the veg/beef and half (or all if you’re making double portions!) of a bottle of local ale. I chose the punchy ‘No Guts No Glory’ IPA from Station 119 complete with gorgeous pin-up girl label (no surprise why hubby likes it so much!). Pop the pan into the oven at 180 degrees for about one hour until the stewing beef flakes apart. Season with salt and pepper to taste then put your preferred number of portions into a pie dish and top with a pastry crust. Bake in the oven for another 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

beef and ale pie recipe

Okay, so I actually used bought puff pasty for the lid of my pie (argh, I can hear the cries of ‘cheat’ ringing in my ears – it was just a time-saving measure, honest!) but a shortcrust pastry would be equally as nice – here’s my recipe for a easy peasy shortcrust pastry. See, I can make the pastry too… I just didn’t do it this time. When it counts. Oops!

The obvious accompaniment to the pie was a delicious glass of No Guts No Glory which we are about to enjoy with our finished pie as we speak! And if you fancy trying out this local Suffolk beer, check out the Station 119 Facebook page. I’ve honestly never tasted such a deliciously rich pie and I love mushrooms cooked in this way! Please let me know if you try out this recipe but for now I’m off to enjoy my steaming-hot pie then watch The Great British Bake Off  to find out what the theme is for next week’s blogger bake off :)

Check out all the other Great Blogger Bake Off tart and pie recipes by following the links to these lovely blogs below:


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Happy Shrove Tuesday – How to make a main meal with pancakes

I love Shrove Tuesday and every year I say to myself, “why don’t I eat more pancakes all year round?” I love them and can easily eat a dozen on pancake day – I’ve already had a couple for lunch today! But pancakes can get a bit boring with just lemon and sugar (although I will definitely be eating this combo later for my pudding!) and I’ve been thinking about ways to make pancakes into a suitable base for a main meal. And this is my favourite: Roast beef Yorkshire wraps. The combo of sliced beef rolled inside a thick pancake gives the taste of roast beef and yorkshire pudding, and can easily be made  into a main meal with chips or roast potatoes, peas and lashings of thick gravy.

yorkshire-wraps

Batter ingredients: 250ml semi-skimmed milk, 2 large eggs, 7 oz flour, salt and pepper seasoning

Whisk up the ingredients for the batter and fry a 2 pancakes per person using a decent amount of batter in a small non-stick frying pan (I use Fry Light so that the pancakes/wraps aren’t too oily). The batter recipe is basically the same as you’d make for pancakes but with a little extra flour to make a thicker, more yorkshire-puddingy pancake. Next warm through your ready-sliced beef in the oven and lay the slices on your pancakes and roll up to make 2 yorkie wraps per person. If you fancy a little horseradish or mustard, spread a thin layer onto the pancakes before adding your beef slices for a little extra zing!

Serve with yummy chips or roast potatoes, using Fry Light again for a low-calorie version, gravy and peas/veg of your choice. Delicious! Let me know if you try this recipe today and what you think of it! And please get in touch if you have any other savoury recipes for pancakes :) yum!

 


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Pieday Friday – Slow-cooked beefy pie for USA’s National Pie Day

It was National Pie Day on Wednesday this week! Unfortunately, it was the American National Pie Day, but I didn’t let that stop me making this yummy meaty pie for our dinner to celebrate (do I ever really need an excuse to bake a pie?!)

pieday friday beef stewy beefy meat pot pie recipe cooking

The meat in this pie is super-tender and flakes apart on your fork, and this is due to the slow-cooking process of the filling. You can’t usually get such a well-cooked meat in a normal pie, because the pastry crust usually cooks in half an hour and the filling needs a lot longer, so I start this one off on the hob then transfer to the oven like a stew, or you could put it in a slow-cooker in the morning and it’ll be perfect to add to  a pie-case when you want your dinner. Or maybe make double-portions of a beef stew the day before, saving half for a pie on the second day. Either way, it’ll ensure the flavours are beautifully combined and the beef is lovely and tender. I used beef fillet, but because you are slow-cooking the filling, you can use any stewing  cuts of beef you like.

pieday friday beef stew pie for usa national pie day

Ingredients: shortcrust pastry, 300g diced beef, 1 large chopped red onion, 2 large diced potatoes, 4 sliced carrots, 1/2 diced swede, 2 sliced parsnips, 1 & 1/2 pints beef stock, 1 glass red wine, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons tomato puree, 1 tablespoon mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Method: Season your tablespoons of flour and toss your beef chunks in it before browning in the casserole pan with a little olive oil. Add the onion and brown for a couple of minutes before adding the rest of the vegetables. Stir in the tomato puree and mixed herds before adding the beef stock and red wine to cover the veg and put it in the oven to simmer until the veg is soft and the beef is well stewed and flaky. Add to a pie dish and cover with a shortcrust pastry lid, brush with a little milk and put back into the oven to cook until the pastry is golden brown.


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Classic Sunday Roast Beef – Yummy Yorkie Wraps Recipe

This is one of my favourite Sunday dinners inspired by a meal in our local student pub when we lived in Lancashire and I’m sure you’ll love it too! This meal is essentially thinly sliced roast beef wrapped in a massive flat yorkshire pud with chips (or roasties if you prefer) and peas with a big glug of meaty gravy.

Batter ingredients: 250ml semi-skimmed milk, 2 large eggs, 7 oz flour, salt and pepper seasoning

Whisk up the ingredients for the batter and fry a 2 pancakes per person using a decent amount of batter in a small non-stick frying pan (I use Fry Light so that the pancakes/wraps aren’t too oily). The batter recipe is basically the same as you’d make for pancakes but with a little extra flour to make a thicker, more yorkshire-puddingy pancake. Next warm through your ready-sliced beef in the oven and lay the slices on your pancakes and roll up to make 2 yorkie wraps per person. If you fancy a little horseradish or mustard, spread a thin layer onto the pancakes before adding your beef slices for a little extra zing!

Serve with yummy chips or roast potatoes, using Fry Light again for a low-calorie version, gravy and peas/veg of your choice. Delicious!

Sunday Roast