|Our happy pie!|
I was never a great lover of pies until I went to End of the Road festival in 2010 and happened upon the Pie Minister van. I'll tell you, there is something about warm pastry, a meaty filling, mash and minty peas on a cold festival night that really warms you to the core. Since then I often pick up Pie Minister pies from Sainsbury's for an easy, quick dinner, and went straight out and bought their cookbook 'A Pie For All Seasons' as soon as it came out. It is such a beautiful book with the most gorgeous recipes, along with lovely anecdotes and beautiful photography. Well worth the £11.69 it is on Amazon. My favourite of all the pies to cook in the cookbook is the sausage, cider and potato pie. It is indescribably delicious and perfect for a chilly day or Sunday dinner. It's also really easy to make.
The recipe in the book suggests you make your own suet pastry, and if you want to do that, you can find the original recipe here. I'm sure it's very easy, but I'm lazy, so I bought Ready Roll Shortcrust Pastry. I've adapted the recipe to reflect that. I should probably mention as well that the pie dish we used above was a bit small (we made another smaller pie too) so you'll want to use one a bit bigger than that to make sure you've got room for all your filling! This one from another blog that features this recipe would be perfect.
For the pastry
Depending on the size of your pie dish I'd recommend 500g of Ready Roll Shortcrust Pastry
For the pie filling
500g new potatoes, cut into slices 6-8mm thick
1 onion, sliced
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
500g herby sausages
handful of grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
Cook the sliced potatoes in boiling water until tender, then drain and set aside. Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and cook gently until softened. Stir in the apple and sugar and cook until the apple slices are tender but sill hold their shape.
Pour in the cider and simmer until almost completely evaporated. Stir in the mustard, season and remove from heat.
Slit the sausages open and peel off the skins. Mix the sausage meat with the potatoes, using your hands to break it up a little. Finally, stir in the warm onion and apple to give a loose mixture.
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Roll out half the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Use to line a pie tin and then fill with the sausage and apple mixture. Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg.
If you like, you can add the cheese at this stage, pushing it down into the filling to make cheesy pockets. Roll out the rest of the pastry to about 3mm thick and use to cover the pie, trimming off the excess and pressing the edges together to seal. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg and then make a couple of holes in the centre to let out the steam.
Place in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is cooked through – check by inserting a skewer in the centre; it should come out hot.
I served up a big old slice of our pie with homemade chutney and spinach - you could have yours with whatever you like but beware, this is a very filling pie so don't be too overambitious with your accompaniments! :)