Posted by on January 6, 2019 1:00 am
Categories: µ Newsjones

Whether it’s topped with mash, pastry or crisped roast veg, nothing pleases like digging deep into a pie to reveal its hidden treasure

It has been a full week since the New Year’s resolutions, so I think it’s safe to talk about pie. The crust, be it pastry, mashed vegetables or toasted breadcrumbs, is there to protect the filling from scorching in the oven and to provide substance. The crust is also there to hold a secret. Dig down through the depths of potato, parsnip or pastry and you will find treasure to savour – pieces of lamb with root vegetables and thyme; minced beef with soft onions and red wine, or perhaps golden smoked haddock with mussels and prawns. I chose to top the one I made this week, a rather nostalgic filling of beef, celery and thyme with frills of tight young kale leaves, with a 50:50 mash of Maris Pipers and Jersusalem artichokes.

Later in the week I capped a smooth purée of roast cauliflower, rosemary and cream with more florets of toasted cauli. The crust this time was on the bottom, a crisp pastry case with pecorino. The topping of golden cauliflower curds allowed it to (just) sneak in under the title of pie. I am not sure whether it matters if your crust is as crisp as puff pastry or as soft as a roasted brassica, what matters is that you have your filling hidden. A delicious surprise as you dig in.

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