I think we're theologically OK with New Year, so what's your local tradition? In Scotland we do Black Bun on Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) and a Steak Pie on Ne'erday (New Year's Day). I'll leave Black Bun for someone else to describe - I loathe it. It's basically a bad fruit cake in a pastry case. Bleeaarrgghhh!!!
Here's my / our / somebody's granny's Steak Pie recipe (serves 4 normal people or 2 pirates):
1kg of good braising steak
2 medium onions
2 large carrots
250g turnip or swede
1 can of Guinness
Gravy and / or stock cubes
250g puff pastry (I mean, who makes their own?)
Cut your steak into 2-3cm chunks and brown it in a deep non-stick frying pan (or wok). If you make the terrible mistake (as we did this year) of buying it from a supermarket, it will be full of water so it will end up boiled before it's seared which is ALL WRONG! SHAME ON TESCO'S! **ahem** Sorry... brown the meat, then keep going until it starts to burn. You really want to get a dark brown caramelised and slightly gritty thing going on there, but it's OK, keep going, you're not ruining the recipe.
While you're doing this, chop your onions, carrots and turnip roughly. My rule of thumb is... my thumb. Nothing bigger than the top of my thumb, nothing smaller than the top of my index finger.
Add the onions to the steak. If it's a bit dry at this point because your meat was lean (or FULL OF BLOODY WATER!) then add a little oil. Once the onions have started to take a bit of colour, pour in the can of Guinness. Pour the can of Guinness into the pan. Do not pour the can of Guinness into yourself. If you want a Guinness, get your own. The recipe requires a whole can. Got it?
Boil the kettle and turn on the oven to 180 degrees C. Add the carrots and turnip to the pan at this point. Reduce the Guinness until the pan starts to look a bit dry, then add your stock cubes or gravy, and top it up with boiling water from the kettle. Reduce it a bit more, then transfer it to a casserole dish, cover it and put it in the oven.
(This would be a good point at which to have a Guinness or two.)
After about an hour, roll your puff pastry out on a floured surface (using a whisky bottle full of cold water will avoid overworking the pastry) and cut a bit to cover the pie. Cut the rest into squares and put it on a baking tray. Let it rest.
After the pie mixture has been in the oven for about 90 minutes take it out, put the pastry cover on it and return it to the oven, along with the rest of the pastry. Leave it in the oven for another 20-25 minutes and serve.
We normally serve it with potatoes and steamed vegetables, but hey, to each their own. Happy New Year!
"I don't mean to sound bitter, cynical or cruel; but I am, so that's how it comes out." ~ Bill Hicks.
"To argue with a person who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead." ~ Thomas Paine.
"One should not believe everything one reads on the internet." ~ Abraham Lincoln.
"If you're making a political point wearing a balaclava, you're a c***. It was true for the IRA and it's true now." ~ daftbeaker.