Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Cheese, onion and potato pie

Sunday was a pie baking sort of day. Cold, with lying snow on the ground. Head a little delicate from the previous night's excess.

A big plate of carbs was the order of the day, something filling but frugal. This pie really hit the spot. Cheap to make, satisfying, cheesy, savoury, and lighter than you'd imagine thanks to the delicate, flaky pastry.

Good pastry is essential for this. Stodgy pastry with a cheesy potato filling would all be a bit heavy going, but Delia's flaky pastry recipe is just perfect. Butter-rich but thin and with a lightness that belies the fat content. It's ridiculously easy to make too.

This will serve 3-6 people depending on greed and accompaniments. It will take around 90 minutes to cook, not including the time taken to make and rest the pastry.

What you'll need:

1 batch of flaky pastry made using the recipe here
2.5 lbs of good mashing potatoes
milk and butter for the mash
2 large onions
6-8 ozs of strong tasting cheese (mature cheddar with a bit of parmesan added is good)
vegetable oil
white pepper
one egg (not essential)

What to do:

1. Put the oven on at 180 deg C then finely slice the onions. Warm about 1 tbsp of oil and a knob of butter in a large heavy bottomed pan then add the onions. Keep the heat low as you want them to sweat without browning until they're very sweet and tender. This will take up to 45 minutes.

2. Get out a large, deep oval or round pie dish. Roll out about two thirds of the pastry so that it will cover the bottom and sides of the pie dish. Push the pastry case into the dish then put it in the oven to blind bake for 20 minutes. If you haven't got baking beans any dried bean or pulse should do the trick. Put the remainder of the pastry back in the fridge.

3. Remember to keep stirring the onions to make sure they don't stick and start to colour. Peel and chop the potatoes then put them on to boil in salted water until tender (about 15 minutes).

4. After 20 minutes remove the blind-baked pie case from the oven. Drain the boiled potatoes and mash them with a little warm milk, plenty of butter and loads of white pepper. Add more salt if it needs it. You want the mash to be very moist, but not wet. Just so it can't quite hold its own shape.

5. Grate the cheese. Check the onions for doneness. They should be very soft and sweet, give them longer if they need it.

6. When the onions are done everything can be layered up in the pie dish. First spoon in the mash, then the onions and finally the cheese.

7. Roll out the rest of the pastry to make the pie lid, then add it to the top of the pie. Seal the lid and brush it with egg wash if you've got an egg to hand. Otherwise just squash the lid into place. Prong a couple of holes in the top with a fork then bake the pie in the oven until golden brown, about 35 minutes.

8. Serve hot with peas, or even better, with baked beans. This is also good served cold, sliced into wedges, maybe with some salad.

1 comment:

plasterer bristol said...

This sounds lovely and really tasty. Thank you for sharing this.


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