April’s often a month of sunshine and showers, but at least spring has fully shown her hand and we’re enjoying longer days and lighter evenings. It makes such a difference in a culinary sense too – fresh produce is starting to come in and we have delicious spring lamb and venison in season and full of flavour. Both meats are locally sourced and in-store at our Dersingham store and Creake Abbey counter, and don’t forget we are now open seven days a week if you need to pick up a Sunday roasting joint.
I’m looking forward to celebrating with friends and family – the focus might be on chocolate eggs for the kids, but you’ll need something to feed the troops and beef is a perennial favourite. In my opinion, it’s also the perfect choice to celebrate St George’s Day which falls on 23 April. Although a fore rib, sirloin or fillet are without doubt the finest choices for a roast, I’m tempted to celebrate England’s patron saint with a classic pie – it doesn’t get more British than a shortcrust steak and kidney pie, served with new potatoes and peas.
Now, with summer ahead, some of us may be thinking about getting beach body ready, and a low-fat beef and potato pie recipe from the Hairy Bikers, which uses pizza base mix as a pastry, recently caught my eye.
Dice and fry an onion, two carrots and two celery sticks along with 250g of beef mince. Flavour with 1tbsp of ketchup, brown sauce and flour, plus ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce and – if you like a bit of heat – ½ tsp of chilli flakes. Add 200g of peeled, diced floury potatoes and 300ml of beef stock, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
For the pastry, you’ll need two 145g pizza base mixes made to packet instructions. Divide this into six portions, roll out and cut a base and lid for each pie, filling each one with the mixture as you go. Cut a steam hole, brush with milk and bake for 15 minutes at 180° before covering with foil and cooking for a further 15 minutes – then tuck in!
If you’re struggling for time, it’s handy to know that all of our pies are handmade and baked on site at our Dersingham shop. In fact, the aroma of these, along with gorgeous high quality pork pies, sausage rolls and Scotch eggs being freshly cooked in the kitchen each day is plain torture for the rest of us in the butchery department! With a range of pies to choose, you can keep everyone happy, so stock up and celebrate in style.