Monday, 19 December 2011

Private pie club, meeting Dec2011

Earlier this month I participated in Private Pie.
Private Pie is an underground movement of pie bakers across Newcastle. This was their inaugural meeting and I was fortunate enough to get a place.

Their theme was "your go-to pie" - the pie you bake/eat in times of need. For some reason I felt mine was a game pie. I think its because its hearty, meaty, homely and satisfying.

The worst part of the event was travelling to the venue, from my home in West Monkseaton, on the metro - carrying a warm pie, it smelt beautiful.  I almost considered not-going and just riding the metro system and eating my pie. But then I realised what a terrible thing that would be.  My pie needed to be eaten, shared amongst pie-afficionados, amongst the pie brethren.

I was very glad I went, we shared 6 delicious pies out, all of differing finishes and flavours, from the seasonal Christmas Pie (my favourite) to the potato-topped fish pie (cod & prawn), and an open flan-type-pie of salmon & watercress, to the winter warming apple and raspberry, and the rhubarb & custard-crumble-topped pie.

We all started very traditionally - eating the savoury creations before the sweet ones, and I felt myself thinking that pie is such a versatile foodstuff, you can have sweet and savoury...At that point my mind raced into the future possibilities for pie club - assuming that there will be another pie club???

The gathering was held in the very secretive, very lovely Flat Cap Joes, and if you don't know it - you're missing a treat.  It really is an underground, secret place in Newcastle, and if I told you where it was, it wouldn't be a secret anymore....

We discussed (at great length) the constituent parts of a pie, and asked: what is a pie? Which is the million dollar question, and probably one that will never be answered, it sits up there with "what is the meaning of life?" and "what am I here for?"

Pie Club was organised by Hayley & Nancy, and I take my hat (or flat cap) off to them for finding such a lovely venue, for organising the event.

My pie was a game pie, and the recipe  (of sorts) is below:


- Mixed game (I usually buy the mixed game packs from Sainsburys)
- Onion chopped
- 1 stick of celery chopped
- 1/2 pt of Mr Lisa's finest chicken stock
- About 6 mushrooms chopped
- 1 Carrot cubed
- 1 glass (ish) of red wine
- Thyme, Salt & Pepper

Brown off the meat, de-glaze the pan (with the wine), then put everything in a heavy-bottomed saucepan/Le Creusset type dish with lid, sling in everything else, bring to the boil and simmer for ages and ages and ages, so the meat is sweet and juicy, if it looks too wet take the lid off and reduce the liquor. Leave to cool.

Make hot water crust pastry using the recipe from the Be-ro Book.

Assemble the pie, crust on the outside, filling in the middle, attach lid, glue together (water/egg) and some fancy fingerwork to nip & twist for a professional looking crust (or forkwork), label appropriately with offcuts of pastry, eggwash and oven bake.

Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your pie - mine took a good 45mins on 180

1 comment:

  1. ahhh lovely write up Lisa,

    There will be another pie club :) Organisation is happening slowly but surely...