Friday, December 28, 2007


Fri 28 Dec 2007

Did you miss us on Cooking the Books on Channel 5 last night? A fleeting 15 seconds of fame - and I was gutted not to have the chance to promote Eating Leeds, but there you go.

On to more exciting, visceral pleasures and we arrive at pastry. On Christmas Day we had a duck for our dinner. As lovely as it was, just over 3 kg of duck goes a long way between two people, and in the interim we've had duck sandwiches (duck with cream cheese and black pepper - sounds mad, but it's delicious), duck stir fry and finally ... tonight ... duck pie.

While duck is not known for its lean meat, there's no point in making a pie if you're not going to use plenty of good, fatty heart healthy pastry. Andy insists that pies have a pastry top and bottom, and I think it's a crime to use shop bought short crust pastry, when home made is so quick. This means Andy is in charge of the filling, and I'm in charge of the pastry.

This is my favourite quick and dirty recipe, originally taken from a Safeway (remember that?) magazine.

Take 300g plain flour, 75g of lard and 75g of butter. Cut your butter and lard into cubes and whizzy it all up in your food processor. Add a little cold water to bring it all together in a ball and rest in the fridge (or freezer, if you're really in a hurry) for about 30 minutes. The cooler the pastry is the easier it is to handle.

I promise you'll spend more time washing up than actually making the pastry. This is also incredibly economic because lard is ludicrously cheap.

And this is what you end up with:

(In our case washed down with a Louis Bernard Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape 2005).

For the filling Andy used left over roast duck, onions, carrots and a stock made from roast duck bones, a bay leaf, some cloves and a pinch of mace. Of course, you can fill your pie however you wish!

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