To cook the food of the United Kingdom, I made it a two-fer. And let’s call the presentation of this meat pie as “rustic.”
My second international trip came several years after my trip to China and was for a few weeks over the summer before my senior year in college. I did a study abroad program in London where I, culinarily speaking, learned the art of the perfect pour and Brits like to put butter on their bread in sandwiches as an alternative to mayo. I was still a bit of a picky eater at the time, but I do remember eating a lot of chicken w/butter sandwiches, fish and chips and a beverage that I thought was SO EXOTIC at the time: Smirnoff Ice. Yes, you may have figured this out but the year was 2001 and that was the hot drink in the UK. I thought I was being very clever to bring some back in my suitcase…until I returned to college that Fall and found they were everywhere. 🙂
For my UK meal, I decided to make two dishes as we were hosting Matt’s parents for dinner. I had made a meat pie a few year prior, but it lacked a bottom <insert soggy bottom joke>. In all seriousness, it was an awesome pie but it was the type that only had a top crust and was not freestanding.
For this attempt, I decided to make a traditional pie with allover crust that would need to hold its own. Where I think I went wrong was that I didn’t have the dough quite right. I believe I didn’t convert one of the metric readings properly, and when I tried to course correct it might have been too late. So it wasn’t a pretty pie but it was a tasty one. I mean…Stilton Cheese in the crust? How could you go wrong!?!?!? And the bottom held even with the hefty amount of steak and onions in the center! So here’s to small victories.
I’d made the Sticky Toffee Pudding previously which was a smart move so that I could really focus on the meat pie. Here’s the meat pie recipe, courtesy of Jamie Oliver and Warwick Davis–two great Brits! https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/steak-stilton-pie/. The Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe is courtesy of Bon Appetit: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/sticky-toffee-pudding
Now, for the categories!
Overall Level of Effort: 5 for the Meat Pie, 2 for the Sticky Toffee Pudding
Skill Level: Advanced for the Meat Pie, Beginner/Intermediate for the Pudding
Would Make Again? I’ve already made this Pudding twice so definitely yes to that. As for the meat pie, I would like to perfect this but will likely wait for another very cold winter day when I have a lot of time on my hands.
Additional Notes: I wholeheartedly agree with the edict “Cooking is an art, Baking is a science.” Over the years I’ve gotten much better with baking but I still feel that completely perfecting a pie like this remains my white whale. But I sure enjoy trying and eating the results, not matter what form they take.