Friday, August 31, 2007

A Pile of Pies

I've been busy making pies this morning. My 9 year old was wanting me to make *real* pies this time. :-) My first attempt was chicken and vegetable pies (which were yum in my opinion but not so yum according to the kids) and my second attempt was steak and mushroom (which went down slightly better with the kids). So today I've been making *real* pies with mince and gravy.

Hopefully they won't notice that I've added TVP and red lentils to the mixture. LOL. I actually made up the mix in the crockpot yesterday. Today was making the pastry and rolling it out and assembling the pies. It's a bit time consuming but I don't really mind. To me it's worth it to know what has gone into my pies.

This time I used bought mince but from now on I'm thinking of making my own mince. I bought a large beef roast on sale recently and chopped it up and put it into my food processor and it made lovely looking mince. The smell almost put me off meat for life but it's nice to be confident of what we're eating. I do have a couple of packets of bought mince that need using though so one of those went in the pie filling.

Here's a picture of my "pile of pies":

Like all good bloggers, I hid the ones that didn't look quite as good on the bottom of the pile. LOL. I don't know why I get so hung up on perfection. After all, there is something so clinical about food that all looks *exactly* the same isn't there. Here's a slightly more close up view of my pies:

I'm trying to work out how much they cost to make. Most of my figures are approximate/guestimates.

For the filling:

2 cups TVP - 80c

1 cup red lentils - 30c

574g mince - 3.44

4 Tbsp gravy powder - 20c

2 Tbsp cornflour - 5c

hearty beef soup sachet (I didn't have any beef stock) - 25c

1 Tbsp tomato paste - 20c

shallots - from the garden, cost negligible

salt & pepper - cost negligible

water - free

Total $4.99

I used just over half the mixture (froze the rest for another time) so approx $2.50 or slightly more.


250g butter - $1.10

2 3/4 cups plain flour - 30c

2 3/4 cups SR flour - 30c

Total for pastry: $1.70

Total cost for 20 pies: $4.20 so 21c each. Bargain! :-)

If you want to make up the pastry you add 1 cup hot to butter and mix until butter dissolves. Then mix the lot together with the flour (I use a dough hook on my Kenwood). Then I shove it in the fridge to cool down a bit to make rolling out easier.

I made a discovery today with the pastry too. With using up the scraps, instead of trying to squish them together in a ball and then roll out again (which is hard as the pastry gets tough), I just overlapped all the rolled out bits and rolled them together. Was much quicker and easier and they seemed to stick together alright (just don't use too much flour on your board the first time round).

I can't vouch for how my filling recipe (if you can call it that) tastes as I haven't tasted it yet. DH did a taste test last night and told me it tasted nice so fingers crossed it passes the family test at tea tonight. We're having meat pies, chips and salad for tea tonight. It's fake take away night tonight.

I think I must have been bitten by the cooking bug these past 2 days. Yesterday I made a big pot of tomato and vegetable soup (having some for lunch right now in fact). Also made an experimental batch of crumpets. Added more raising agents to try and get a lighter crumpet. I did succeed in a lighter crumpet but had very few holes so I'm still going to experiment with the recipe a little more. I also made the pie filling yesterday. Today I have made the pies and a batch of yoghurt as well as some spreadable butter (butter and olive oil whizzed together).

I'm looking forward to a nice quiet afternoon this afternoon! :-)


Kez said...

They look great! How did they taste for tea?

Polly said...

Those pies look so pretty :-) i don't think I've ever made pies mainly because I'm not confident with pastry.

I liked your tip for the leftover bits. That's a great idea.

Lib said...

Your pies look "YUMO"!! So pretty.
I've never done well with pastry, I should keep at it until I can get it down.
Have a great day!!!

lightening said...

Well so far they've gone down well. We had them for tea last night and lunch today. DH seems to think they're "just right" as far as a meat pie goes. :-)

This pastry recipe is so easy. I've never made pastry from scratch before I got this recipe (from someone on the Simple Savings forum).

Anonymous said...

Pies look delish! Could you tell me if that pastry recipe is considered a puff or shortcrust type pastry? Thanks,
Madly Saving

Sorka said...

OOOH see now I am trying to figure out all this in American measurements.. since we have to go and be different from everyone!
I know what cc's are.. I just have to figure out if I have something to measure them out with!
and What is TVP?
These just look soo yummy I would love to try to make them. My family loves pot pies!

lightening said...

Madly Saving - this is a shortcrust pastry. I think to make a "proper" puff pastry takes quite a bit of effort. You end up with layers of butter in between the pastry to separate them. Based on my limited knowledge anyway. I've never attempted puff pastry (actually we did make it at school once and it was yum but lots of work).

Denise - TVP stands for textured vegetable protein. It's made from soy I think. It's a common ingredient in pies. When you mix it with minced beef you can't really tell it's there. This is the first time I've tried using it. I'm not really all that great with US conversions but let me know if I can help you any further. :-)

Christine said...

These look yummy! I've never made anything like them! I think I'm going to try the crumpet recipe first though!

I finally got around to reading your 3 part series regarding consumerism and your journey away from it. Good reading! I love to read about people's journeys to a more frugal and simple life!

Dora Renee' Wilkerson said...

Those pies are making me hungry. They look so pretty and I bet they taste good too.

Dora Renee' Wilkerson