Well I haven’t come across
many Pie & Mash shops in Kyrenia & needs must so I decided to make my own. I realised I was facing quite a few issues- firstly I didn’t have a recipe, then I hit another snag- I found out that Lard is Bacon Fat (!) and living in a Muslim country I realised I would probably have to wait and get this from The Greek Side (actually Tempo in Alsancak have it- Hooray Tempo!) Then I wondered about the Eel situation- I definately needed some Eel slime to make the Liquor!
According to the internet there are about 200 varieties of fish in the waters around Northern Cyprus– If this is the case I wonder why I only ever see Sea Bass & Sea Bream on the menu.. I digress.. One that gets a mention is the Eel- now I haven’t seen any but if you do, buy them QUICKLY & give them to ME(!) Or stew them & use them in the Liquor recipe (its up
not to you!)
I actually (desperate measures for authenticity) flew a tub of Jellied Eels back in my suitcase on my last trip from London & froze them ready for this occassion! I removed the Eels- fed them to Ace, King & Queen (Miaow) & saved the jelly- which became 1 Cup of Eel Water once reheated.. The Liquor has a fishy edge to it so if you aren’t into hunting or smuggling Eels just use some Fish Sauce!
Its quite difficult to find an authentic recipe on the internet- they all try to make it Posh and add Onions, Garlic, Herbs etc.. Its not Pie & Mash if it has too much flavour! That’s why you douse it in Malt Vinegar?! So I have done some experimentation & pieced together my own recipe which actually works!
Flaky Pastry (Pie Lid)
- Mix the flour with the salt and rub in half of the lard. Add enough cold water to bring the flour to a soft dough.
- Mix together the rest of the lard and the butter.
- Roll out the dough to make a rectangle 12.5 x 25cm/5 x 10in.
- Dot one third of the butter/lard mixture over two-thirds of the rectangle. Fold the third without any fat on it over the middle third of the pastry. Bring the other third on top. Seal the edges with a rolling pin and turn the dough 90 degrees. Chill for 10 minutes.
- Repeat stage 4 with half of the rest of the fat and then repeat one more time with the remaining fat. Chill for 10 minutes after each folding.
- Roll and fold one more time without any fat and then chill for 30 minutes.
~ When you are ready to use the dough it should be rolled to approx 1cm/0.25″ ~
Suet Pastry (Pie Bottom)
- 350g Self Raising Flour
- 190g Shredded Suet (Atora is the brand available here in Tempo! Beef or Vegetable)
- Cold Water (use your judgement!)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Sift the Self Raising Flour & Salt into a large mixing bowl
- Mix in the Suet
- Add a few drops of cold Water mixing with a knife
- Keep adding water until you have a sticky dough
- Now use your hands to finish the dough- it should be smooth, neither sticky nor dry & leave the bowl clean (add a drop more water or a sprinkle of flour to correct if necessary)
- Allow the pastry to rest, covered in the fridge for 30 mins
Minced Beef Pie Filling
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 500g Beef Mince
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour
- 250ml Boiling Water
- 1 Beef Stock Cube (I used OXO)
- 2 Drops Gravy Browning (just because I like it!)
- 1 tsp Salt
- Heat oil in frying pan
- Add Mince & fry until brown, chopping up and breaking apart any clumps that form
- Stir in the flour till it is well combined
- Sprinkle over the OXO cube
- Pour in the Boiling Water
- Add drops of Gravy Browning if using & 1 tsp Salt
- Stir well & bring to a simmer until the gravy reaches the right consistency
- Turn off the heat & put to one side till later
Liquor (Parsley Sauce)
- Heat Butter in saucepan until it has melted (do not let it burn!)
- Add chopped Parsley & stir till it has wilted
- Add Cornflour & stir till it has been combined with the Butter/Parsley
- Slowly add Boiling Water whilst stirring to avoid lumps
- Add Eel Water or Fish Sauce
- Bring to the boil- Keep Stirring!!
- When the sauce has reached the desired thickness season to taste, turn off heat & leave covered
I won’t insult your intelligence, think you can work that one out for yourselves!
~ If you want it ‘traditional pie & mash shop style’ then I recommend mashing with NO Butter NO Cream NO Milk NO Pepper. Just Potatoes & a good pinch of Salt)~
Assembling The Pie
- Preheat the oven to 200 oc/Gas Mark 6
- Half fill a roasting tray/casserole dish with boiling water (the water should come up to halfway on the height of the pie dish) & place in the oven to heat (this is your Bain Marie)
- Grease the pie tins with Butter
- Roll out your pastry ready…
- Line the pie tin with the suet pastry- let it over hang and cut off the excess, ensure it covers the rim of the dish
- Fill the pie with the Minced Beef Filling till about 3/4 full
- Brush the pastry on the rim of the dish with water & cover with the Flaky Pastry lid- gently press around the edges to seal & poke a few small holes on top (to let steam escape)
- Brush the top of the pies with milk
- Carefully place them into the water filled tray in the oven
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-45 mins (depending how well done you like the top!)
Remove Pie from tin & place on plate, spoon Mash onto plate & ladle over Liquor
Don’t forget the Malt Vinegar, White Pepper & Salt!
If you are organised you will have a bottle of Chilli Vinegar on hand & a tepid beaker of Sarsaparilla!
Maybe you aren’t like me & regularly twirl your baton in the kitchen but I have no clue about Pastry making or handling a Rolling Pin!
What I have learnt is that everything must be COLD for the Flaky Pastry.. Difficult when you live in this climate but that is what air conditioning is for (or only bake in February!) I already keep my Flour in the freezer (damn you Evil Weevils) so that was nice & cold but you also need to put your bowl, rolling pin & board into the fridge or freezer.
Hands must be COLD.. Water must be COLDER.. Not too much of a problem in Cyprus as we only use bottled Water from the fridge but if you are in the rest of the world- refrigerate the tap water!!
Don’t panic it makes you hot 😉
Make sure the pastry lid isn’t sagging in the middle & is well sealed at the edges- if the middle touches the filling it wont rise!
Next time I will be trying the recipe below for my Flaky Pastry- It sounds SO much easier & I trust Saint Delia to come up with easier methods! I’ll report back..
Next time I would like to use the Falcon (Google it!) individual oblong ceramic pie dishes (16″) instead of the foil disposable ones (they were round its the wrong shape!)