Summer pie for all

Summer Pie
The pie in question. Note to self – make this more often!

You’d think I would remember this. But no. The last time I cooked this fantastically tasty recipe was back in 2003 when I wrote about it in my cooking column in the Waikato Times.

Which is a bit ironic, because the subject was about memory being a funny old thing. ‘There are many things I’ve forgotten,’ I wrote, ‘But I have an almost flawless memory for food.’

When trying to remember an event years afterwards, I can almost always place it by what we were eating at the time. You tend to remember things you are interested in and there are so many memorable aspects to food.

So you think I’d remember to make this more often.

I can’t remember where I found the recipe now – possibly from a friend. I do remember the first time I made it. It was high Summer; the cicadas were chirping and the lawn needed mowing. Rather like now. I made the pie and realised upon serving that the pastry was the sweet stuff, totally wrong. Now my recollection is that the man of the house had got the wrong packet at the supermarket but he insisted he would have been milking the cows.

I’m sure it was his fault. The good news is that New Scientist reported that you shouldn’t feel bad if you have a bad memory. It means you’re a multi-tasking, highly effective and competent individual saving your neurons for other, more important things.

I’ll go with that.

And for the record, we’re having this Summer Pie tomorrow night. With the correct type of pastry and lashings of gravy. It will be a memorable evening.

1 onion
200g mushrooms
400g silverbeet
½ tsp cumin
1 tbsp fresh oregano
2 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp fresh tarragon
3 tbsp capers
3 cloves garlic
500g mince
2 eggs, beaten
1 pkt puff pastry (about 200g)
Salt, black pepper
1 glass cider

Preheat oven to 180°C.

  • Chop onion fine, slice mushrooms.  (If you have a blender, use it.  Otherwise grab a helper for the chopping.)
  • Wash and chop silverbeet into small bits. Place into a bowl, with onions mushrooms.  Add sliced garlic, herbs and season. Add capers. Mix the meat thoroughly into this – hands are useful. Finally, add the egg, keeping a small amount back to glaze the pastry.
  • On a flat baking tray, shape into an oval. Place in a dish and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool. Retain any juice to make a super easy gravy later. Turn oven up to 200°C.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the pastry into a large oblong. Place the meat on the centre of the pastry. Wet the edges and wrap tightly around the meat, trimming any overlap.
  • Brush with egg, make incisions in the pastry and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp.

Before serving, heat pan juices in a small pot, adding the cider to make gravy.

Serve with a simple salad and mashed spud.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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