Madame Gourmand
04. 07. 2015

corned beef pie

Corned Beef pie holds lots of memories for me, My late Grandfather made a delicious corned beef pie, I don’t know if this is a dish eaten outside of the North East of England or not?  I’ve never actually seen it elsewhere but I’d like to think that other regions have sampled the deliciousness that is corned beef pie.

My friends all have different variations of the recipe passed down by family members, some people use layers of sliced potato, onion and corned beef, some people add tomato and some people make a kind of gravy but I like mine the way my grandfather made it for me and I’ve tried to recreate it as best I could for you my dear readers.

 

I personally prefer the pie cold, Mr Gourmand likes to eat his with ketchup and Mini Gourmand will only eat it hot.

Corned Beef Pie
Servings
6-8 People
Servings
6-8 People
Corned Beef Pie
Servings
6-8 People
Servings
6-8 People
Ingredients
Pastry
Filling
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Grease a round pie tin and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the salt and chopped up butter and lard and rub it into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add ice cold water to the flour mix bit by bit with a knife and bring it together with your hands until the pastry forms a ball. Don't add too much water, just enough to bring it together. Cover in cling film and pop into the fridge to chill
  4. Put the chopped onion into a pan with boiling water and simmer until softened.
  5. Peel and chop the potatoes and place in a large pan with cold water, cook until tender. Once the potato is cooked and cooled mash with a potato masher or ricer.
  6. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Line the tin with the pastry and put back into the fridge.
  7. Mix the onion, corned beef and potato together and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Remove the pie tin from the fridge and fill with the potato mixture. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover and crimp the edges with a fork. Make two slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape and brush the top of the pie with milk or beaten egg.
  9. Cook the pie in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
Recipe Notes

You can make the filling the night before and assemble on the day you want to bake the corned beef pie.

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22. 06. 2015

I feel like I’m in a bit of a food rut, I’m desperately seeking inspiration for my meal planning but can’t seem to find it in the masses of cookery books I have.  I feel an amazon order coming on for some new reading material, any recommendations?

I’m going to spend the next two weeks clearing out my freezer so I can do a defrost and clean of my fridge.  This week is a busy week for me so I’m cooking a lot of meals in my slow cooker as we will all be eating at different times during the evening.

This week The Gourmand family will be eating:

Monday – Fish and Chips (Homemade)

Tuesday –  Chicken Curry

Wednesday – Lamb Tagine

Thursday – Beef Bourguignon

Friday – Tuna Pasta bake

Saturday – Chicken Chasseur

Sunday – Meal Out

 

And that’s our meal plan for this week, pop back next week for Meal Planning Monday.

Meal planning monday

20. 06. 2015

Tomorrow is Fathers day, we plan to spend our day at the Allotment rather than go out for dinner so for a change the Gourmand family decided to go for an early fathers day meal on Friday evening at the Sparrow which is the closest Brewers Fayre to our house in Warwickshire.

brewers fayre play area

This was the first time we had visited a Brewers Fayre and we were all really impressed.  All staff members were incredibly helpful especially the manageress who went out of her way to make sure Baby Gourmand was having a good time as he was a little cranky. The food on the whole was really tasty and we had clean plates all round. We found eating at Brewers Fayre excellent value for money, there were some great offers on meals before 6.30pm and soft drinks were refillable which is great when you have a thirsty teenager.  There was a dedicated outdoor play area for children which was a great way to keep little ones entertained before their meal arrived and a good opportunity for them to burn off excess energy before heading home.

Brewers Fayre mixed grill

As it was a fathers day meal Mr Gourmand decided to push the boat out a bit and order the mixed grill (£11.79) which consisted of A 4oz steak, a Smithfield original pork sausage, half a grilled chicken breast and a gammon steak topped with a fried egg, chips, onion rings, peas and half a grilled tomato with a side of Diane sauce (99p).  Mr Gourmand really enjoyed the steak and said he would probably order the rump steak during our next visit as it was delicious.

Scampi brewers fayre

I ordered the Scampi (£8.29)which was served in a basket with chips and mushy peas.  I wasn’t offered tartar sauce which was advertised on the menu and my chips were quite cold so I was a little disappointed with my meal if I’m honest.

brewers fayre jacket potato

Mini Gourmand really fancied the jacket potato with beans and cheese (£4.79) which was served with a side salad and wanted to try the onion rings so we decided to purchase the extra feast (£3.49) instead which came with battered onion rings, garlic and herb breaded mushrooms and garlic bread.  Mr Gourmand and I shared the mushrooms and garlic bread which couldn’t be faulted.

brewers fayre spaghetti bolognese

Finally Baby Gourmand had his favourite Spaghetti Bolognese (£3.99) which was served with a piece of garlic bread and a piece of corn on the cob.

For 4 meals and 3 refillable drinks our bill came to £40.80 which was incredibly good value for money.  If you’re looking for somewhere to go for a reasonable priced lunch on fathers day I can recommend Brewers Fayre, especially if you have children with you!

*Disclaimer: Our visit was complementary, all views and opinions are my own.

18. 06. 2015

oscars Leamington Spa

Last week I visited Oscars French bistro in Leamington Spa for the first time, I can’t actually believe it has taken me almost three years to pay the restaurant a visit.  Mr Gourmand has visited twice with work and has promised to take me on a few occasions but we can never seem to dine out together on an evening unless we have family visiting.

My date for the Oscars visit was one of Mr Gourmands work colleagues, Mr Gardener.  Mr Gardener had visited Oscars a few times before and had jumped at the chance to accompany me so last Wednesday we made our way there for Dinner.

Oscars leamington Spa

When you enter Oscars you can immediately see that this is a fine dining restaurant and a place to not only eat food but to enjoy it too.  The tables are beautifully set and the whole atmosphere seems intimate and inviting.

Champagne Oscars Leamington Spa

We were handed the menu and given a glass of champagne to drink, I can’t remember the last time I had champagne but it was definitely pre Baby Gourmand.  The champagne was fruity and very easy to drink unlike others I have tried, at least from what I can remember!

olives oscars Leamington

The complimentary olives were delicious, in fact I could have happily had a huge bowl full on my own, they were that good.  The French bread was also delicious however I had to limit myself to just one piece or I wouldn’t have been able to eat my meal.  It’s little things like the complementary extras that would make you visit time and time again.

After quite a long time debating what we were going to order we had finally made a decision, I’m a creature of habit and as soon as I saw that Chicken Liver pate (£6.50) was an option on the menu it was a no brainer that I was going to order it.  I consider myself to be a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to Chicken Liver pate so I was interested to see how Oscars compared to others I had eaten in the past.

Chicken Liver Pate, Oscars leamington Chicken Liver Pate, Oscars leamington

I’ve mentioned before that in my opinion an undressed salad is a huge no-no, this wasn’t a problem at Oscars.  The salad was not only dressed but seasoned, such a little thing that makes such a difference.  The bitterness of the endive lettuce worked so well with the sweet dressing and creamy pate.  It was a very generous portion size, so much so that I couldn’t finish it all for fear of not being able to eat my main course.  I have to say that this was one of the best Chicken Liver Pate I have eaten and I have eaten a lot.

Salmon, Dill and Caper fishcake.  Oscars Leamington Spa

Mr Gardener ordered the Salmon, Dill and Caper fishcake (£6.50) which was served on creamed spinach with a lemon butter sauce.  You would be forgiven for thinking this could have been a main course as it was a monster of a fishcake and served with some vegetables or a salad it would have made an excellent main course.  Mr Gardener thought the fishcake was excellent, he had eaten a similar starter at Oscars in the past which prompted him to order this one and he wasn’t disappointed.

Paredaux tradition pays doc 2013

I always struggle when it comes to ordering wine with my meal, I’m not a connoisseur and usually prefer to get a recommendation from the sommelier as they know their stuff when it comes to pairing so I did what I always do and asked the waitress to select a wine.  As we were both having red meat as our main course a bottle of the Paredaux tradition pays doc 2013 (£16.50) was recommended and what a good choice it was.

Mini Rack of lamb, oscars leamington spa Mini Rack of lamb, oscars leamington spa

I ordered the Mini rack of lamb (£17.50) for my main course and can I start by saying there was nothing ‘mini’ about this dish.  The lamb was cooked to perfection and I couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the lamb was.  Juicy, flavourful, meltingly tender and hands down delicious, for me the lamb stole the show.  The lamb was topped with persillade and served with my favourite bollangere potatoes and if I could only have one more meal for the rest of my life I have to say this would probably be a contender.  Mr Gardener got to sample one of my lamb chops as I was so full and he agreed that it was one perfectly cooked piece of lamb.

Sauteed duck breast, oscars leamington spa

Mr Gardener decided to go for something that he doesn’t cook at home, another perfectly cooked dish – the Sautéed duck breast (£17.50) which was served with a pineapple and ginger compote and fondant potato.  The picture above really doesn’t do this dish the justice it deserves, Mr Gardener cleared his plate which speaks for itself.

panacotta oscars leamington

Mr Gardener and I decided to share a dessert, to be perfectly honest I couldn’t have managed one on my own.  The dessert menu was rather amazing, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t like the sound of but one dish stood out for me which was the Panacotta with rhubarb compote (£6.00) the restaurant had run out of the compote but offered an alternative of a red berry compote instead, after explaining about my strawberry allergy I was told the chef would prepare something for me and what we received was so delicious it really needs to be on the menu!  The raspberries were plump and juicy, the liquor was sweet and worked so well with the slight tartness of the berries and the panacotta was just so delicious I don’t have the words to describe it.

I well and truly have the Oscars bug and I can’t wait for my next visit, preferably with Mr Gourmand so I don’t need to be so reserved when it comes to taking food off my fellow diners plate!

 

Disclaimer: I received a complementary meal for review purposes however all thought, words and opinions are my own.  All photographs taken with iPhone 6

15. 06. 2015

I had such a busy week last week that I forgot to do my meal plan.  Mr Gourmand is working away for a few days next week so the meal plan I did on Friday for this coming week has had to be altered a little and is still subject to change as I have a couple of nights out which will require something quick and easy for dinner.

This week The Gourmand family will be eating:

Monday – Cottage pie made with quorn

Tuesday –  Turkey steaks with roasted vegetables

Wednesday – Moroccan Lamb with cauliflower cous cous

Thursday – Fish cakes and chips

Friday – vegetable fried rice with tofu

Saturday – Rainbow salad with pitta and halloumi

Sunday – Meal Out

 

And that’s our meal plan for this week, pop back next week for Meal Planning Monday.

 

Meal planning monday

04. 06. 2015

cottage pie

Cottage Pie is an ultimate comfort food and it’s enjoyed by all members of the Gourmand household.  The recipe below will actually feed 6 however the Gourmands seem to be able to polish it off in one sitting! You can swap the beef mince for lamb or chicken and if you’re not a meat eater you could use quorn or even lentils.

 

 

Cottage Pie
Servings Prep Time
6 People 30 Minutes
Cook Time
1.5-2 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 People 30 Minutes
Cook Time
1.5-2 Hours
Cottage Pie
Servings Prep Time
6 People 30 Minutes
Cook Time
1.5-2 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 People 30 Minutes
Cook Time
1.5-2 Hours
Ingredients
Mashed Potato
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned. Remove the meat from the pan and put aside. Put the Add the vegetables to the pan and cook on a gentle heat until soft.
  2. Add the flour and tomato purée to the pan, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for around 45 mins or until the gravy is nice and thick. Season with salt and pepper then discard the bay leaves.
  3. Meanwhile, make the mashed potato for the topping. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk and butter, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. If you didn't cook your meat in an ovenproof dish you will need to transfer it to one. Spoon on the mash to cover the meat and cook in an oven heated to 200C for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden. Serve with some green vegetables
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02. 06. 2015

Chicken and Vegetable Risotto

This Chicken and Vegetable risotto has been a family favourite since we started weaning Baby Gourmand (we did leave the wine out).  What I love about risotto is the fact you can use any vegetable that’s in season.  I have to be honest, I’m very partial to asparagus in risotto I love the taste, texture and crunch and I use it more than any other vegetable in this type of dish.

Chicken and Vegetable Risotto
Servings Prep Time
4 People 5 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 5 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Chicken and Vegetable Risotto
Servings Prep Time
4 People 5 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 5 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan heat the oil and fry the chicken, onion and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened and the chicken is cooked.
  2. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil, add the wine and mix well. Add a ladleful of hot stock, and stir until this has been absorbed by the rice. Continue to add stock, ladleful by ladleful, stirring continuously, until it has all been used up and the rice is creamy, this will take between 20-25 minutes.
  3. Stir in the parmesan cheese and vegetables cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately with some grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with a crisp, fresh mixed salad.
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01. 06. 2015

Can you believe it’s June 1st already!  This year is just flying by at an incredible speed and I’m not sure I like it.  I have a busy week ahead of me this week so needed some quick and easy dishes to cook.  I have started up my VA business again after taking some time off which means my evenings for the next couple of weeks will be spent trying to get some new clients, I have a lot of charity work on at the weekend and my father in law is visiting so I won’t be doing any cooking thankfully!

This week The Gourmand family will be eating:

Monday – Honey & Soy chicken with home made wedges and focaccia

Tuesday –  Stir fried vegetables with steamed rice

Wednesday – Pizza

Thursday – Meal Out

Friday – Fish and steamed vegetables

Saturday – Meal Out

Sunday – Meal Out

 

And that’s our meal plan for this week, pop back next week for Meal Planning Monday.

Meal planning monday

26. 05. 2015

So last week was basically a write off for me hence the lack of posts on my blog.  We started off the week with an overflowing sink which meant that washing dishes downstairs was impossible as we couldn’t get rid of the water.  The washing machine couldn’t be used either as it was shooting water up through the sink.  On Tuesday we discovered that the switch that powers our electric hob and oven wasn’t working so we called our letting agents again to report the problem.

By Wednesday we were sick of takeaways so I decided to improvise by using my slow cooker and actifry meaning that last weeks meal plan didn’t get followed at all.

On Friday both our plumbing issue and power to the cooker problem was sorted so this week we are eating most of the dishes from last weeks meal plan.

I realise I’m a day late with this post, the bank holiday has thrown me off! This week The Gourmand family will be eating:

Monday – Homemade Pizza

Tuesday –  Chicken and Garlic kebabs with wraps and salad

Wednesday – Eating out in Winchester

Thursday – Salt and Pepper tofu with vegetable rice

Friday – Chicken and Vegetable risotto

Saturday – Tuna and Olive Spaghetti

Sunday – Roast Beef

 

And that’s our meal plan for this week, pop back next week for Meal Planning Monday.

Meal planning monday

18. 05. 2015

Mr Gourmand is away with work for some of this week (3 days) so on those days I will be either cooking for 3 of us or just myself and Mini Gourmand depending on her schedule.  I’m not doing well when it comes to emptying my freezer but I just don’t fancy any of the meat or meals in there at the moment.  One drawer is filled with casseroles, curries and soups made for Baby Gourmand so I’ll try and remember to defrost some for his lunches this week.

This week The Gourmand family will be eating:

Monday – Takeaway as I’m unable to use my kitchen thanks to my washing machine leaking all over the floor flooding the kitchen and my sink being blocked.

Tuesday –  Chicken and Asparagus risotto

Wednesday – Salt and Pepper tofu with vegetable rice

Thursday – Homemade Pizza

Friday – Tuna and Olive Spaghetti

Saturday – Grilled Halloumi and Rainbow Salad

Sunday – Roast Chicken

 

And that’s our meal plan for this week, pop back next week for Meal Planning Monday.

Meal planning monday