Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pie Odyssey #4 Mince & Dumpling pie

I really like dumplings.  There is something magical about blobbing sticky balls of dough into a stew and seeing them puff up and become a crispy topping.  So my choice of the next in the Pie Adventure series was the Beef Mince and Dumplings pie (pg 85 of Perfect Pies).

First up you make the filling.  A nice mix of onions, garlic, celery, and carrot.

Fling in the mince and brown it.  Then add a bay leaf, a can of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and some beef stock (and a slosh of wine if you like).

 After simmering that for a bit you put in the dumplings you have prepared.  The recipe calls for suet - something I haven't ventured into.  I normally just use butter for dumplings.  However, in the interests of scientific endeavours I purchased some Shreddo and launched into my first suet experience.  As it turns out, it was super easy to use.  I'm not sure what I envisioned from it - the name sort of implies strange noodle shreds of fat or something.

I was a bit distressed to learn I needed parsley given my garden is a scene of desolation and despair owing to DH's war on oxalis.  I went out there to ponder it and I noticed some little parsley plants surging forth so was most gratified to harvest them!


The whanau were pretty pleased with the pie.  I thought the suet made the dumplings more porous and lighter but in fact we all thought the ones I make with butter were preferable. I think it's because we're used to a 'more-firm-to-the-bite' mouth feel.  It will be interesting to try the suet in some of the other pies in the book later.

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