Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meet the Little Meat Pie - Daring Bakers 4/10

This time, I really didn't think I would make the Daring Baker's Challenge. First of all, it was British (sorry, but I just haven't tried many British pastries that made me lick my lips for any reason except the great need for moisture.) Secondly, I read the recipe and it seemed that "Suet" was animal fat with the gross factor doubled. Thirdly, Daring Baker's is often a great excuse to cook another sweet, and why would I want SUET in that?
Well,meet the little meat pie that had my guests scraping their plates for the last tender crumbs.

Rosemary Lamb Veggie Pudding Pie
April 2010 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.
Finding suet was a chore for my neighborhood. I had to practically beg a butcher to hold on to some of this fat for me. He was more than willing to take an order for several pounds of it, but told me the small amount I needed usually ends up in the bottom of the garbage at the end of his day. Sheesh! Ultimately, I got to work with it and also made several pies with the alternate choice of Crisco. I've used Crisco for many pastry goods and it does make a flaky crust. The suet (which I rendered, then saved and it had a lard-like feel to it) worked well, too.

The filling was left up to our own imagination and research, so I created a Lamb and Veggie filling that was accented with fresh rosemary. It was earthy and fragrant, very satisfying and so delicious my husband actually sighed while eating.

I have a real love for individual servings and I figured everyone would enjoy having more of the pastry too. I made these in ramekins and coffee cups. They worked beautifully and I could serve what was needed and save a few in the refrigerator to re-steam when someone else was ready to eat. What a great luncheon dish, huh?
Traditionally, these are made in large ceramic bowls and they look fabulous, but I liked the convenience and having my own little pastry pie.

12 oz. Self Rising flour (I used AP w/ Baking powder and salt)
6 oz. suet or suet substitute (could be butter or Crisco)
pinch of salt and pepper
little less than a cup of water or milk

1. Mix the flour and suet together
2. Season the flour and suet with salt/pepper (or spices for sweet)
3. Add the water a TBL at a time as you mix. Stop when dough leaves the sides of bowl clean. Don't over handle the dough as it will make a tough pastry.
4. Reserve some dough for the tops, roll the rest out and cut to fit inside your container.
5. Butter the inside of your container well, and place the pastry dough around the inside and make sure to leave a lip above the top.
6. Add your filling.
7. Roll the remaining dough and cut shapes to make tops. Dampen the edges with water, place the top on and roll the extra lip over the top and seal. (I used a fork to create and good seal)
8. Seal well and cover with a top of parchment, and a sheet of foil (pleated for expansion) Secure with string (mine were small enough to remove with tongs and strings weren't needed), and place in a steamer over boiling water.
Steaming can be up to 5 hours (with my small ones it was 2 hours). There is a lot of leeway with steaming, but it's hard to over-steam. One way to tell it is cooked is when the pastry changes color - goes from white to sort of light golden brown. If not used right away- put in refrigerator and re-steam for about an hour for serving.


1 lb. lamb shoulder (cut into cubes)
2 carrots chopped
2 ears of fresh corn (cut off the cob)
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms (quartered)
1 small onion rough chopped
several sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 Tbls. flour (for thickening)
1 cup Vegetable stock (or water or beef stock)

In a large oven proof skillet, brown the lamb cupbes in a little olive oil.
Remove and hold. Add onions, carrots, salt and pepper (to taste) and cook on low/med for about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Add stock and stir to combine. Return the lamb, add corn, mushrooms and rosemary. Fold together, cover and cook in oven on 325F for 1 hour.
Remove the rosemary sprigs, stir to combine flavors and let cool before using as a filling in the pastry.
Steam these for two hours. Remove foil and gently pull pastry from the edges of the ramekins or cups. You may need to use a knife to run around the inside of the cups. Turn upside down onto plate.

You'll love the simple, elegant look of these individual meat meals. The British call them puddings, but I didn't say that to my guests until after they had tasted them and like them. We're so conditioned to our own little vocabularies that even when I told them later, it was met with grimaces. But, the spoons returned to digging out the goodies. Tally ho!


Audax said...

Lovely elegant delicious looking pudding and the fillings look so tasty and yes we do get stuck on vocab too much. Bravo they look so good. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Renata said...

Your puddings are really cute and they look delicious too! Do you think it might work with butter?

Jenni said...

Great job! Your individual puddings look so cute! And your filling sounds very yummy!

chef_d said...

That looks great, lamb and rosemary--yummy flavor, and the crust looks perfect! The individual servings look just right. Great job!

Jill @ Jillicious Discoveries said...

Ohhhh....this might be my favorite savory pudding yet! These look really delicious! :)

Anonymous said...

These are made in the North west of the united kingdon and made with steak and kidney and a thick gravy (sauce ouses out, you mmust try if you ever visit northern England