Week Eight – TUDOR
So this week I was feeling only a little better than last week (flu that last over a week and straight into tonsil or laryngitis not been able to talk for 3 days – house is sooooo quiet without me!), but must have been in the mood for baking as I did 2 of the three rounds, and even baked a cake for the 3rd ‘showstopper’ section (cake decorated with marzipan for a centrepiece) but that was as far as I got haha, Mr Timothy is happy about that though as he loves my ugly apple cake and hates marzipan (so look out for the cake later in the year). However, with my usual “do it my way” way, I opted for a savoury version of the Tudor knot, so I think I can totally claim this recipe as my own, as it was only when I did a ‘search’ that I discovered that the Tudor knot biscuit was a ‘sweet’ spiced biscuit (this was on Wednesday, before the programme had even aired!); but undaunted I went ahead anyway as I had planned on making them to go with a pasta dish.
Bake number one – TUDOR STYLE BEEF PIE WITH HOT WATER CRUST
Stuff you need: FOR THE FILLING ½ (ish) kilo beef (mine was braising steak, but use any) 2 large onions fat for frying (dripping is good) 3-5 cm black pudding 2 stock cubes Tablespoon or 2 of flour ⅓ bottle red wine 3 bay leaves goodly pinch of mace and lashings of pepper 3-4 small potatoes (thin ones are best) 1 large carrot ¼ purple cabbage FOR THE PASTRY 350g plain flour (I used 300 plain and 50 strong bread) 120g lard 120g/ml boiling water goodly pinch of salt plus the same of nutmeg and fennel seeds beaten egg for glazing Stuff you need to do:
- Prepare the ‘stew’ well in advance – I like to have it cook for at least 2 hours. slice the meat up into small pieces; chop the onions up (vary the sizes chunks, slices and small dice); finely chop the black pudding.
- In a pan (I use a deep one that can go on the stove top and in the oven) fry off the onions until soft then add one of the stock cubes and fry until browning. Take off the heat and stir in the flour until it is all coated, add the stock cube, meats, pepper and mace and stir well. Add the bay leaves and wine and enough water so that the meat is fully immersed. Place in the oven and cook for 2 – 3 hours until the meat is tender (you could do this in a slow cooker if you prefer). Once fully cooked leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Prep your vegetables. Using a mandolin slice the carrot wafer thin, then the cabbage, rinse the slicer and do the potatoes. Blanch each veg for 2-3 minutes until just soft then drain. Boil the kettle and make your pastry once the oven is ready as it’s better worked hot.
- Put the flours and herbs and salt into a large bowl. Weigh the lard and water into a small pan and bring back to the boil, tip this into the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon, working as quickly as you can. Bring it to a dough ball and tip out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Work the warm dough together for a minute or 2 to get a gloopy feeling, shiny smooth ball of dough. Take 4/5 of the dough (cover the remaining 1/5) and split this into 4. Using your hands and a rolling pin, smooth the dough out so that it fits into 4 deep individual pie tins, making sure there is an overhang. Get it as thin as you can without any holes, if it is too thick it will not cook inside.
- Fill the cases ½ full of ‘stew’ then equal layers of potato, carrot and cabbage. Divide the remaining pastry into 4, squash into discs that just cover the surface of the pie and fold over the overhangs. Crimp around the edge, glaze with egg and use a sharp knife to cut a hole right down into the pie (or you could try GBBO Selasi’s method and use a biro – not!) making sure you reach the meat layer but not the bottom)
- Bake the pie for approx ½ an hour until it is looking golden and holding its own shape. Remove from the oven (turn heat down to 175ºC) and very carefully remove from the pie tins, put it back into the oven for roughly 20 minutes until pastry is golden all over and fully cooked inside. Enjoy!
So it’s as easy as that! You can basically make what ever filling you desire in your own pie, and this amount of dough will make 4 medium sized deep pies, 1 large family pie or around 9 or 10 small picnic sized ones. Only, I do recommend that you make sure before making this that you have the ‘right’ wine for the task, daft eejit that I am, I did not have any middle range wine of the red variety so was forced to open a bottle of the good stuff (ah the perils of living in the middle of nowhere when one runs out of ingredients!!)
Bake 2 of 2 – SAVOURY TUDOR KNOT BISCUITS (aka Jumbles)
SIMPLE INGREDIENTS AND METHOD
2 cups of self raising flour (I used 1 ⅔ white and ⅓ cup of spelt)
2 eggs (beaten)
good pinch of mixed spice or caraway seeds
splash of cold water
- Put on a large pan of water to boil. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
- Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl to form a dough, start with just a couple of tablespoons of water, add more if the dough is a little dry.
- Tip onto a floured surface and work for a minute to a firm dough. taking small pieces of dough roll into ‘knot’ shapes.
- Drop the knots, 3 or 4 at a time, carefully into the boiling water for a few seconds, until they float. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and put onto a bread/pizza baking sheet. Once all cooked off in the water bath put into the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and baked.
These little ‘bread’ buns were a little on the bland side, however, they did make a good medium for pasta sauce, as they are crunchy on the outside yet soft-ish in the middle, a little like a fat bread stick, and made a change from the usual garlic bread. Should I make them again (which I might as they are very quick and simple) I think I might add garlic and even some small, chopped, fried onion.
So that’s it for this weeks’ bakes, I obviously was not up to making the marzipan decorations for the cake, but not to worry, I will do another time! However, if you want to either join in for the last couple of weeks, or see some of the other Great British Bake Off inspired bakes then take a look at our host Jenny Paulins’ site Mummy Mishaps for the bakes and the rules. Thanks for stopping by!