At 13:00-hrs on Sunday 3rd November 2013; my stomach growled, reminding me that it was time to rustle up some lunch. An early morning breakfast at ’0-daft-o-clock’ that morning prior to walking the canines, had all but been worked off! Just as I opened the fridge door, the phone rang; it was my mate “Have you eaten yet”? – “Not yet, I’m just looking into it now” came my reply. “Then don’t, cos me and the Missus will be around in 30 minutes to buy you a pub lunch” This, from the same bloke who I assisted in moving a piano two weeks hence.
Thirty minutes later I was sat waiting in my top hat and tails, and best bib & tucker; having short-walked the dogs who were now snoozing on their beds by the warm radiators.
At 14:00-hrs we three were sat in the pub having ordered our lunch as well as a round of drinks. Lunch being today’s menu special ‘Guinness pie’ using Jamie Oliver’s recipe, with the drinks being the liquid black stuff (except his ‘Missus’ the designated driver). Ingredients: 1 & 1/2 lbs stewing beef, diced sea salt, to taste fresh ground black pepper, to taste: 2 tablespoons flour (heaping): 2 -3 tablespoons olive oil: 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped: 2 -3 carrots, peeled and chopped (depending on size): 2 -3 potatoes, peeled and chopped (depending on size): Fresh rosemary (fresh herbs, pick leaves and add about a handful) or fresh thyme (fresh herbs, pick leaves and add about a handful) or bay leaf (fresh herbs, pick leaves and add about a handful): 2 cups of Guinness stout (Can substitute the Guinness for beef stock) or 2 cups other dark stout beer (Can substitute the Guinness for beef stock): 28 ounces diced tomatoes: 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted (1 sheet from a 1 lb. 2 oz. package): 1 egg, beaten:
Directions: (Turn left at the gate-post, and drive along un-named road for five miles)!
1 Season your beef generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the flour and toss around until all pieces are well coated.
2 Heat olive oil, over med.-high heat, in a large casserole type pan and brown the meat. Make sure to not crowd your meat. You may do this in two batches, if necessary.
3 Add the onion and cook for 1 more minute. Then add the carrot, celery, parsnips and fresh herbs. Cook for another 4 minutes. Add the Guinness and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir and turn down the heat to simmer. Simmer this mixture for about 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. The sauce should be thick and intensely flavored. Season if needed.
4 To make pies:
5 Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
6 Put your meat filling into a large, round baking dish. You could also make individual pies. Any high-sided round oven-proof bowl is fine.
7 Roll out the pastry, dusting with flour as you go, until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out a large circle (or individual circles for smaller servings) – about 1/2 inch bigger than the top of your bowl. Brush the rim(s) of the bowl with the beaten egg, then place the pastry circle(s) on top, pushing the excess pastry down the outside of the bowl to secure. Lightly score the top of the pastry in a criss-cross manner and brush with more of the beaten egg.
8 Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
Then place it on the table in front of Ex Bootneck, accompanied by a host of vegetables, roast potatoes, and lashings of thick gravy. Add another pint of the liquid black stuff, and let loose the dogs of war. There was sufficient room left for a dessert (foolish not too, as I wasn’t picking up the bill). A large portion of sticky toffee pudding with rich vanilla ice cream… Followed by cheese, crackers and coffee. On the drive back I could hear my leather belt creaking, which was not a good sign as I had already let it out one notch. As we arrived at my home I was unceremoniously dumped at the entrance to my drive, as my mate was in a rush to get back to watch the highlights of the England (20) Australia (13) rugby game, which suited me as I needed to tarry a while after such a feast.
Having ‘watered’ the dogs I made the fatal mistake of sitting in the recliner in the conservatory that was warmed through from the heat of the bright Autumn sun. Three hours later I woke up in total darkness with Hannah & Nipper for company on the recliner; Joss the sensible remained curled up on his bed under the radiator. It took a gargantuan effort to step up and boil the kettle for a-cuppa-char. Even now, almost 24 hours later I’m still as full as a gun, and feeling lethargic. Yours Aye.