Well Cornwall will tell you only Cornwall produce real Cornish pasties. Just like people in Champagne would say the only place that produces real champagne is Champagne. All sounds a bit much to me. The European Union has a lot to answer for (just ask Conor) I mean it’s not like Pizza Hut is laying claim to the pizza. Or McDonalds the burger. Well it might be.
Anyway I am a pie boy. Meat and pastry. It’s not good for you and it rarely looks pretty but it always tastes good. Even when you cock it up. And when pastry comes into the equation I usually do. Cock it up that is. The last time I made pasties I made my own shortcrust pastry and they were so heavy I could have used them as bricks.
But Cornish Pasties are so simple I tried again. I mean there are only a few ingredients. How hard can it be?
In my ongoing quest to create interesting things that do not contain meat, (Had I not mentioned that particular quest before? No? Okay I confess I just made it up but with a vegetarian in the house its kind of a good idea), the issue often comes down to cheese.
Cheese is a difficult one – it can be tasty but its also in no way particularly good for you and can overpower everything else in your dish if you’re not careful (speaking from experience here).
Goat’s Cheese is perfect though – its light, holds its shape a bit when cooked and doesn’t taste like its been sitting in a damp cupboard for three years. Perfect partnered with herbage on pastry.
Did I mention the time I had Roast Beef ‘States-Style‘? It reaffirmed to me that if you want to eat meat then you need to take some cues from our cousins over the water. Believe me US Roast Beef is nothing like the dried up leather Grandma served up on a Sunday in the good old days.
Anyway I decided to try my hand at another classic piece of Americana – Spare Ribs.
We got kind of snowed in this weekend. We spent Saturday waiting for it, listening to the increasingly hysterical weather forecasts telling us icy death and destruction was about to decend on our sorry southern English arses. Then we spent Sunday moving a couple of inches of snow out of the way of the cars while the slightly sheepish-sounding weather forecasters said it could get worse, but probably won’t.
So I decided to get busy in the kitchen and make something with pork. I went for stuffed pork loin with a potato slab served with a stuffing and apple sauce stack. Finishing it off with roasted carrots and parsnips and a cranberry sauce. I really did have a lot of time on my hands. And a lot of wine which helps the cooking process immeasurably.