In a bit of a first on this site, this next recipe is a request. You see, my father-in-law’s birthday is today, and he’s a dedicated fan of my recipes here. He’s also something of a cook himself, and particularly enjoys having a crack at the pie recipes I make on here – he recently made a fantastic rendition of the Devonshire squab pie I uploaded not so long ago. Anyway, for his birthday this year he asked me to have a go at inventing a new pie named “Peter’s Pie.” I won’t lie, this involved rather a lot of umming and ahhing. He’s from Leicestershire, so initially I wondered about going down that route – alas, there’s nothing I could do with a pie that Melton Mobray hasn’t done much better already. He’s a nurse, but I wasn’t sure what that would turn up besides a hospital-food medley, which I don’t imagine is anyone’s favourite pie idea. Then it hit me – why think about how he spends his business hours when I could look to his leisure pursuits? He’s a golfer.
How to inject golf into a pie? Do I fill it with grass? Do I look to traditional golf-club snack foods. Instead I went for spectacle. Peter loves a pickled onion – that’s my in. Using some tiny silverskin pickled onions I decided to layer the pie with spinach (grass) and pickled onions (golf balls). One for every golfball he hits into the rough (per game). Underneath it has a lovely, hearty layer of sausages and vegetables in a mustard-based gravy (he likes mustard too).
- Shortcrust pastry (I used prerolled)
- Puff Pastry (prerolled too)
- 1 Onion
- Handful chestnut mushrooms
- 1-2 Carrot (and other root veggies, I also chucked in some swede)
- 4-5 high quality large sausages
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp Plain flour
- 300ml Cold Vegetable/beef stock
- French/English Mustard (depending on your tastes)
- Large handful Fresh baby spinach
- Dozen Pickled Mini Silverskin Onions
- Optional sage leaves and oil
- Grill your sausages until nicely browned on the outside – this will stop them from breaking down into mush in the gravy later on. Allow to cool and slice into decently sized chunks.
- Lay your shortcrust pastry into a greased pie dish, cut off the excess and dock gently with a fork. Crimp the edges if you like that look. Cover with baking paper and weigh down (either baking beads, dry rice or an evenly sized pan) and blind back for 12 minutes or so at 180C.
- Slice your onion, mushrooms, and vegetables into chunks/slices that are sized to your liking and fry in a large saucepan with some butter for 10-15 minutes over a low heat. Everything should be softened and the moisture evaporated out so some gentle browning is starting to occur. Ad the sausages at this stage.
- In a separate saucepan melt 1tbsp butter, then add 1tbsp flour and cook, stirring, over a low heat for 5 minutes until beginning to brown and smell like a pie crust. Stir through the cold stock and bring up to a simmer until thick. Add your mustard a tsp at a time until you can taste as much mustard as you care for. Pour into the sausage and veg mixture.
- Pour the filling into the cooked shortcrust base, then top with a layer of fresh spinach leaves. Finally, dot around the pickled onions.
- Gently layer over the puff pastry and again cut off the excess. If, like me, you have lots of little mole-hills from the golf balls then lucky you! It looks great. Brush over the beaten egg and carefully make a couple of holes in the middle for the steam to escape.
- Bake at 180C for around 20 minutes until it has turned delightfully golden brown at the top.
- For the optional garnish, heat a few tbsp oil in a frying pan and bring to a medium-high temperature. Add the sage leaves and allow to bubble and fizz for 10-15 seconds or so. Remove to a paper towel and sprinkle with salt, so that they crisp up beautifully.