|In honour of the tenuous peace between the modern Irish and English, let’s look at how to make steak and ale pie. For St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, I’ll try my hand at Emeril’s Steak and Mushroom Pie, and I conjure you to do the same.
If you don’t hold up your end, well, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.
|photo by cpj79||via PhotoRee|
|You know who Emeril is, right? See the picture. Bam!
Read the recipe using the link in the first paragraph (for copyright concerns, I won’t reproduce it here).
[...after my attempt:] Here are some helpful notes I offer to anyone attempting this recipe:
- Don’t use even nearly all of the creole seasoning that the recipe calls for you to assemble. How much should you use? Somewhere between too much and not enough. (Seriously, though, just pretend you’re seasoning a steak to be set on the grill. Otherwise you’ll have way too much salt and cayenne. Really, I recommend you alter the measurements for the seasoning.)
- You’re instructed to sear the beef over medium-high heat. Recipes seem to always call for medium-high heat under beef, but just use medium heat on this meat.
- Don’t use Worchestershire sauce as embalming fluid, or this will happen.
- The recipe calls for a “large egg” to glaze the pie crust. Absurd. You won’t use but half of a large egg, even if you’re laying it on pretty thick (and I don’t recommend that you do because although it will make your crust prettier, it will also make its texture less pleasant, rather like a pastry bought from a grocer).
- Rolling out pie/pastry crust is tricky. It sticks to everything. Cut a plastic grocery bag, and roll out your dough between two folds of that (make a sandwich of plastic-dough-plastic). The polymer composition of the bag prevents it sticking, so you can lift the crust (with the grocery bag beneath) onto your pie plate and then pull the bag free. No fuss, no muss.
- The recipe calls for 6 oz. bacon. The substance called “bacon” in England ain’t what we call bacon. Ours is better.
- In case you can’t find any of the English farmhouse cheeses mentioned in the recipe, I recommend this cheese shop.
- The recipe calls for fresh herbs. If you’re substituting dry herbs, use 1/3 as much. Yes, that’s counterintuitive! One might expect he’d need less fresh herb to achieve the same potency as a dried herb, but fresh herbs have greater volume because of all the water in them. Of course, as dried herbs age, they lose their potency, so the aforestated rule is only generally true. A little tweak here and there is necessary to achieve proper flavour. If you’re grinding your herbs yourself, expect them to be more potent than pre-ground herbs.