Welsh Witterings: Good British Pies
Come rain or shine I don’t think you can beat a traditional British Pie. For me its not the exotic fillings of Morrocan tagine or spicy combinations that score points, but rich, hearty fillings of root vegetable or else creamy leek, cheese and mushrooms. I love a good rich gravy or a white wine sauce in a pie and the wonderful thing with pies is that they are easy, fillind and can be made in advance.
I think that the traditional pie is often overlooked by people cooking at home and yet it is the utimate in real fast food. Also a pie is a great way of using up vegetables and other fillings and thus a great way of reducing waste.
Below is a favourite recipe of mine for a creamy leek pie, which is excellent warm and is better the next day!
- potatoes 300g, peeled and diced
- leeks 4, sliced and washed
- Salted butter 60g
- white wine 50 ml
- plain flour 2 tbsp
- milk 200ml
- Extra Mature cheddar 150g
- gruyère 100g
- English Mustard 1 tsp
- flat-leaf parsley a handful, chopped
- puff pastry 300g
- egg 1, (beaten) to glaze
- Nutmeg (ground) ¼ tsp
Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes until just tender. Drain well and allow to cool. Leave the potatoes alone, until they have stopped steaming.
Meanwhile, cook the leeks in the butter until softened, then add the white wine and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, then sprinkle over the flour and stir in well. Keep cooking and stirring for a few minutes, then gradually add the milk, stirring as you do, until you have a sauce. Stir in the cheese, mustard and parsley. Season, the potatoes with freshly ground pepper, and the nutmeg
Roll out the pastry. Brush a little egg around the pie dish rim and top with pastry. Trim and crimp the edges, then brush more egg over the top. Make a slit in the top of the pie to allow the steam to release duringt cooking. Cook for 30 minutes until crisp and golden. Enjoy!