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Covered: Pies, British cuisine

Canteen’s favourite pies Three of the British restaurant’s best SPICY MUTTON PIE Serves 6 The rich filling for this pie was inspired by our favourite East End Indian restaurants. It’s made with mutton, which has an undeserved image today of being old knackered meat. This just isn’t true. It is very tasty, and works well with the spices. 2 tbsp sunflower oil 1 medium onion, cut in 1cm dice 150g carrots, cut in 1cm dice 100g fennel, cut in 1cm dice 2 tsp curry powder 1 tsp mustard seeds 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground coriander 4 garlic cloves, chopped 1kg boned leg of mutton, cut in 2–3cm dice 400g can chopped tomatoes 30g treacle 250ml meat stock 1 heaped tbsp tomato purée 150g peeled and diced potatoes salt To finish 700g puff pastry 1 egg, beaten

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Heat up the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan and sweat the onion, carrots and fennel for about 15 minutes or until soft but not brown. Add all the spices and the garlic. Stir well. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the mutton together with the tomatoes, treacle, stock, tomato purée and some salt. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 2–3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is tender but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Butter the inside of a 28–30cm oval pie dish that is at least 8cm deep. Roll out the pastry on a well-floured board to a thickness of 3mm. Cut out an oval piece of pastry to line the dish. The pastry needs to be long and wide enough to cover the bottom and sides of the dish, with some extra for overhang. Place in the dish, leaving the edges hanging over the sides. Brush the overhang with a little beaten egg. Fill with the cold pie filling. Cut a piece of pastry for the lid – this should be slightly larger than the dish – and lay it over the filling. Dip your fingers in flour and pinch the edges of the lid to the edges of the pastry lining the dish, to seal them together. Trim off excess pastry with a knife. Cut three or four 1-cm slits in the lid, to allow steam to escape during baking. Brush the lid with beaten egg to glaze. Bake for 35–40 minutes

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until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges and through the slits in the lid. Serve hot. Notes: If you like your food quite spicy, use a hot curry powder, or add more curry powder to taste. As with all of the pie fillings, this is delicious simply eaten on its own as a stew. We serve our pies with mash, gravy and greens, but they’re just as good with boiled potatoes and other vegetables or with salad.

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Season the diced kidneys. Add to the pan and cook, covered, for a further 1–1½ hours until all the meat is tender. Remove from the heat and check the seasoning. Allow to cool completely. Assemble and bake the pie (see Spicy Mutton pie, steps 5–8). Serve hot. Notes: Oysters used to be common in steak and kidney pie, and adding a drained can of smoked oysters will give an old-fashioned flavour here.

STEAK AND KIDNEY PIE

CHICKEN & MUSHROOM PIE

Serves 6 Here’s a great British classic that has retained its huge popularity over the years. We’ve kept it quite traditional, but made our pie the best one ever. When you cut through the crust, it smells gorgeous.

Serves 6 A pie like this would have been a midweek meal at home, and you wouldn’t see it on restaurant menus. On our menu, though, it is a perennial hit.

40g beef dripping or 3 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, cut in 1cm dice 150g carrots, cut in 1cm dice 100g celery, cut in 1cm dice 1kg beef chuck, cut in 2–3cm dice 1 1/2 tbsp plain white flour 250ml Guinness 250ml meat stock 2 tsp worcestershire sauce 100g leeks, diced 2 garlic cloves, chopped 10g fresh thyme sprigs, tied in a bundle 2 bay leaves 500g ox kidneys (prepared by the butcher), diced salt and black pepper To finish 700g puff pastry 1 egg, beaten

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Heat up half of the dripping or oil in a metal casserole until hot and lightly smoking. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 5–10 minutes to brown lightly. Remove from the pan. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Get the pan very hot and add more of the dripping or oil if there is none left from the vegetables. Brown off the meat for 5 minutes (do this in batches), turning the dice to ensure they are well coloured on all sides. When all the beef is browned and back in the casserole, sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Add the Guinness, stock and Worcestershire sauce, scraping any tasty residue from the bottom of the pan and mixing it into the liquid. Add the sautéed vegetables, leeks, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Cover and cook over a very low heat for 1 hour.

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2 tsp olive oil 45g butter 1 medium onion, diced 100g celery, diced 200g leeks, diced 2 garlic cloves, chopped 10g fresh tarragon sprigs, leaves picked and chopped 700g skinless chicken thigh meat, cut in 4–5cm chunks 1 heaped tbsp dried porcini 300ml chicken stock 100ml white wine 25g plain white flour 200ml double cream 1 heaped tbsp dijon mustard 200g button mushrooms, halved salt and white pepper To finish 700g puff pastry 1 egg, beaten

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Heat the oil and 25g of the butter in a large, heavybottomed pan. Sweat the onion, celery and half the leeks for about 10 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, tarragon, chicken, dried porcini, stock, wine and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on a low heat for 30–45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Pour into a sieve set over a bowl, to strain the cooking liquid. Reserve the chicken mixture. Melt the remaining 20g butter in a clean pan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2–3 minutes until bubbling. Gradually whisk in the cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cream and mustard. Remove from the heat. Add the chicken mixture, mushrooms and remaining leeks to the sauce and mix together. Allow to cool completely. Assemble and bake the pie (see Spicy Mutton pie, steps 5–8). Serve hot.

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