Saturday, 8 February 2014


Good Morning to you,

When  George  was  younger  he  was  a  great sportsman. He loved white  water  canoeing   and  he  canoed  many  rivers,  in  different countries around the world.  He is a black belt, 2nd Dan Judo player and coach and  a keen  outward bounder.  I thought I would tell you this, so  that you can understand George's passion for sport, because today, our house is filled with excitement, as England is playing in The Six Nations Rugby Cup.

This afternoon George will be ensconced in his den, with everything he needs in it's appropriate place. The television "bleeper", will be within easy reach, the peanuts will be close by on the table and  a beer will be on his right. He will be wearing his England rugby shirt and he will be sat in his chair, fifteen minutes before the start of the match, ready and waiting.... and I have to tell you,  this afternoon, I expect to hear lots of hollering and cheering at the television.

Last weekend  England was playing France and we were beaten by France in the last two minutes of the game, and I have to tell you, there was lots of shouting at the television on that afternoon. As we were watching the game, I said to George, "Do you know, I think we are going to win this match" and George replied "Hold your horses, as there are still three minutes of the game left and you cannot be sure of winning, until the whistle blows".....and then it happened. France scored a try, two minutes before the end. I have to tell you, George was not a happy man. 

But today is a new day and we are expecting great things from the England team, as England is playing Scotland.... so this morning, George is running around doing the things he needs to do, before he settles down to watch this afternoon's rugby match.  

So this morning, I am going to be making something I just know he is going to love,

Steak Pie with Gravy.  It's big, it's hearty, it's meaty and full of flavour and I just know it is going to be a great big hit. 

So it's on with the pinny, and the music I am listening to today, is a group I know you will be familiar with,

The Corrs.  I just love their mix of Celtic folk music and it is not every day that you hear a tin whistle being played.  Listen to, "What Can I Do", "Only When I Sleep" and "I Never Loved You Anyway" and if you have not listened to The Corrs music before, (which I very much doubt) you will not be disappointed.

So I am ready to list my ingredients, and they are,


1 kg large cubed stewing steak
3 medium sized carrots
1 large onion
1 celery stick
1 tin of tomatoes
1 litre of beef stock
1 tablespoonful of olive oil
2 tablespoonfuls of sunflower oil
1 teaspoonful of sea salt
1 teaspoonful of black pepper
2 tablespoonfuls of plain flour


300g plain flour
75g unsalted butter
75g lard
2 egg yolks
(1 for the pastry and 1 to brush on the pastry)
sea salt


Peel and finely slice the onion.

Place 1 tablespoonful of olive oil
into a pan
slowly cook the onions until they become
 a rich, golden brown colour.

Whilst the onions are browning,
Peel and slice the carrots
into small chunks,

and cut the celery into 3 pieces
and set aside for the moment.

Place 2 tablespoonfuls of flour
onto a plate
and add
1 teaspoonful of sea salt
1 teaspoonful of freshly ground black pepper
Mix together until combined.

Thoroughly coat each cube of stewing steak with
the seasoned flour.

Place 2 tablespoonfuls of sunflower oil
into a pan 
add about 8 cubes of seasoned steak to the pan.
Fry until browned on all sides.
Don't overcrowd the pan because the
steak will not brown.

As the meat browns place onto a plate
until you are ready to use.

Continue until all the cubed steak
has browned.
place all the browned steak into a medium
sized saucepan

add the chopped tomatoes,
the carrots,
the browned onions
and the three pieces of celery.

Add 1 litre of beef stock

Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer
and cook with the lid on for
for 1 1/2 hours or until the
meat is nice and tender.

Remove the celery stalks as these
were only used to add flavour.

If there is too much gravy,
using a slotted spoon, remove the steak, onions and carrots
 from the pan.
Turn the heat to high and reduce the gravy,
until you have the consistency you require.

Return the steak, onions and carrots to the pan 
and stir together.

Check the seasoning.

Place the steak with gravy into a pie dish
allow to cool.

Whilst the steak is cooling,
make the pastry

I have not taken photographs of how to make
the pastry, as this is something we have
made many times before.

Roll out the pastry.

Using a pastry brush, 
brush water around the rim of the pie dish.

Cut 1.5cm  strips of pastry and press to secure the strips
 around the rim of the pie dish.
The water will help the pastry to adhere.

Again, using a pastry brush,
brush water onto the pastry,
which you just placed around the rim.

Place the rolled out pastry top onto the pie,
trim the edges and seal the edges either using a
fork, or by crimping, which ever style you prefer.

Brush the pastry top with egg yolk
and cut two slits in the pastry to allow the hot air to escape.

Place in a 180C oven and cook
for 50 minutes, or until the
filling is hot and the pastry is golden brown.

Take a look at the filling,
what do you think?

Now I have to tell you, this Steak Pie with Gravy,
 will certainly
"Warm the cockles of George's heart".

I have decided I am going to present it at half-time.  I feel sure he will be able to smell the steak cooking, but he will be so involved with the rugby, that he will not want to tear himself away from the television, just in case he misses a try. 

Fingers crossed for England,  but I just know that Jacqueline who writes Cheapskate Blethering, will be in the oppositions corner as her husband, who is also known as "The Great Scot" will be rooting for Scotland.

What can I say, but, "Let the game commence!" well to be honest, that is what George would say.  

I say....... "Good luck to you".

Take care and I will catch up with you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,



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Best wishes to you.


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