Savory Saturday – Steak Pie Secret

Wow – now this is special.

My boyfriend has agreed to give away a very secret and special recipe that has been passed down from his father’s father’s father…you get the point (born and raised in Glastonbury, England).

Steak Pie for Two (or three to four normal people – we are pigs).

Wake up at 8:30 for a dinner ready around 6:30 (ouch). The earlier you start it and the late you leave it to savour in its deliciousness, the better.

2 lbs stewing beef

1 onion, cut into chunks

1 garlic head, all cloves minced

2 packages of beef oxo

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

a few hits of hot sauce

pinch of dill

pinch of sage

pinch of thyme

1 tbsp-ish basil

4 bay leaves

1 tbsp-ish parsley

1 tbsp-ish oregano

a few pinches of chili pepper flakes

fresh ground pepper, to taste

package of puff pastry



Place beef in large pot and fill with water until just covering beef. Cut onion into large chunks and place into pot. Put in as many cloves of minced garlic as you can stand. We use a whole head of garlic, phew! Pour in the two packages of beef oxo, along with the worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Throw in all the spices too!

Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer it for as long as you can. Keep checking throughout the day that it doesn’t dry out. If so, add more water.

Three hours before you would like to eat, add a cup or 2 or 3 of wine in the mix. The more wine you add, the longer you should let it simmer.

Get two large bowls and 2 hard boiled egg holders and place the holders in the centre of the bowls. Get package of tenderflake (packaged puff pastry), roll out both pieces in flour, to fit over top of the bowls. Before you put the dough on top of the bowls, evenly divide the simmering stew between the two bowls. Once it’s in, place to pastry on top of the bowls. Make sure there are no holes in the dough, and that each piece of dough covers the bowl.

Place the bowls in a preheated oven, set at 400F. Monitor pastry and cook until pastry is golden brown, usually 15-20 minutes.

To serve, cut puff pastry in half, place on plate, pour stewing beef over pastry. We like to serve with baked potatoes and broiled asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper.


Savory Saturday – Going Greek

I am still daydreaming about Greece from my post yesterday…so much so, that I need a little taste of this gorgeous country to satisfy my craving.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Yes – I should be writing about some St. Patty’s Day recipe, but I have been overwhelmed with so many neat GREEN ideas, that I can’t pick a favorite one to try.

So here…go Greek:



Youvetsi (yoo-VEH-tsee) is a traditional Greek stew that can be made with beef or lamb. The meat is cooked in a rich tomato sauce together with orzo pasta and finished with a heap of grated Kefalotyri cheese on top.

If you don’t happen to have a covered ceramic baker, don’t worry. The dish can also be made in a traditional Dutch oven.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 – 8 Servings


  • 3 1/2 lbs. beef or lamb, cut into 2-inch chunks (see note)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (separated)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 large leek (cleaned, trimmed and cut in half)
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thirds
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 – 4 whole allspice berries
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 lb. orzo pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Kefalotyri cheese or Pecorino Romano


Note: The best cuts of beef and lamb to use for this dish are the cheaper cuts like chuck or shoulder.

In a heavy, oven safe Dutch oven, heat ¼ cup olive oil. Season the meat lightly with salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat until nicely browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove the browned meat from the pot and set aside on a platter. Add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the leek, carrot, and the wine to the pot and scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom.

Add the allspice berries, crushed tomatoes, sugar, and a quart of water to the pot. Let it come to a boil and then lower the heat to medium low. Simmer uncovered for 5 – 10 minutes.

Return the meat to the pot (with juices) cover, and simmer over medium low heat for about an hour or until the meat is very tender.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the leek and carrot from the sauce and transfer the meat and sauce to a covered ceramic baker or continue using the Dutch oven.

Stir in the uncooked orzo pasta and add about 1/2 cup more water if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and place in the oven. Cook an additional 45 minutes to an hour stirring the contents occasionally to prevent sticking.

Remove from the oven, remove the allspice berries and top with grated cheese. Cover and allow the dish to rest for 15 – 20 minutes before serving.

Tasty Tuesday

I am waiting for my food to arrive for lunch right now, and I am quite starving today. After daydreaming about my trip to Morocco yesterday evening, I am feeling a bit peckish for some olives, oranges, and meat tagine!

Here is my ideal meal at this very moment, brought to you by

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) lamb, beef or goat meat
  • 1 1/2 lbs. (700 g) potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
  • small handful of parsley and cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
  • large handful of red or green olives
  • 1/2 or 1 whole preserved lemon, quartered


Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method

Pour the olive oil into the base of a tagine; arrange the onion slices across the bottom and distribute the garlic on top. Add the potato slices (you can arrange them neatly if you like) and place the meat on top of the potatoes in the center.

Sprinkle the spices as evenly as possible over the meat and potatoes. Add the parsley bouquet, the olives, the preserved lemon, and about 1 1/2 cups of water.

Cover the tagine and place on a diffuser over medium-low to medium heat and allow the tagine to reach a simmer. This can take some time so be patient. Once a simmer is achieved, reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer, and cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is very tender and can be broken with the fingers.

Conventional Pot or Pressure Cooker Method

Chop the onion rather than slicing it. Cut the potatoes into wedges rather than slices. Chop the parsley and cilantro.

Mix the meat with onion, garlic, cilantro or parsley, spices and olive oil in a large pot or pressure cooker. Brown the meat, uncovered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups of water and cover. If using a conventional pot, simmer the meat for about 1 1/2 hours; if using a pressure cooker, cook the meat with pressure for about 35 minutes, or a little longer if using lamb or goat meat.

Add the potatoes, olives and preserved lemon, adding water if necessary so that the broth almost reaches the top of the potatoes. Partially cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is reduced until thick. Towards the end of the cooking, taste for salt and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Think I can blink twice and it will appear before me?