Sunday, 30 October 2011

Cook from a Cookbook - Steak Pie and Cornbread

A double dose of cookbook challenge for you today, as this weekend I have used not one, but two different cookbooks!

I'll start with the slightly cheeky one. I've had this Jamie Oliver book ever since the TV show first aired, because the recipes he featured on the show each week were all fantastic. 

I am ashamed to admit we've only ever cooked one of them, and it's the one I'm sharing today. Cheeky, because it's not a new-to-us recipe; this was the third or fourth time we've done it. But I don't think it's featured on the blog before.

Big pile of beef... packet of pastry.. can of Guinness....
what could it be?

It is, quite frankly, the most amazing pie we have ever cooked/eaten. Steak, Guinness and Cheese pie. You don't need the book to cook it, the recipe is available for free on Jamie Oliver's website here.

The cheese makes all the difference. You stir half of it into the beef stew before you pour it into the pie dish. The rest gets sprinkled on top to create a cheesey layer underneath the pastry lid.

I would recommend doing at least half again the amount of cheese.
You can never have too much cheese.
Mmmmmm pie.
As ever, it looks fab in the pie dish. Getting it to look fab on the plate is a different story. You end up with a pastry shape, and a plate covered in cheesey beef stew!

Very tasty indeed. Although do not make the same mistake that we did. Start cooking it EARLY. We didn't have dinner till 9pm, because I didn't start making the pie until half past five.

One of the reasons I was delayed in starting on the pie was to try out a brand new recipe. New book, new recipe, food I'd never eaten before in my life.

I got this cookbook from the book club guy that comes to my office. When I saw it there, I thought "that looks awesome", and did some investigating online. Amazon told me the book wasn't available until next January, and it would cost me £18.75. I got it this week from the book club for £8. What a bargain. It's an amazing book. When I've done a few more of the recipes in it, I'll do a proper review because it's worth one.

The recipe we chose to test out this time though was cornbread. As I say, I've never had it before, but Jamie has been going on about making it for a while now, so when I saw there was a recipe for it in my new book I had to give it a try.

You have no idea how difficult it was to find that bag of cornmeal
in our local Tesco.

Nice and simple, it mixes up really quickly (well, it does once you've finished mopping up the broken egg from the floor after you let it roll off the work surface while setting up your ingredients photo).

It's wonderfully gloopy, and wonderfully yellow.

It smelled delicious as it was baking, and looks fantastic once it's done.

Is it cake, or is it bread? Sure looks like cake...

...but you don't eat cake warm, in slices and spread with butter!

Oh lordy, it was delicious. I can't wait to make this again, and to experiment with sugar levels to make it sweeter.


  1. Wow, that cornbread looks amazing! I think we might have to bake some...

  2. I've not had steak pie before.  I do want to try it.  I've also wanted to try steak and kidney pie.  I haven't been able to find kidney's in the States for over a decade now.

    Wow, never had cornbread before!  It's almost a staple here in the States.  Duane adds chopped up jalepenos, corn and cheddar cheese to his.  

    Your pictures made me hungry. 

  3. OMG.  The steak pie looks sooooo good.  I may just have to make one of those.  Though it probably wouldn't be as fluffy as I have to use rice flour.
    I told J I wanted to make steak and kidney pie and he looked at me like I had grown a second head.  Sigh.  But at least he's finally willing to eat squash.  Baby steps.  

  4. How can you never have had cornbread? It's AMAZING!

  5. Hehe see I can just as easily say "Wow, never had steak pie before!". Such a classic British dish, although I admit I've not had a steak and kidney pie either. Not sure on the whole kidney thing.

    I'd never even heard of cornbread until Jamie started going on about it recently. It's definitely an American thing!

  6. It's such an American thing. I'd never even really heard of it until recently. Definitely a convert now though! It was just as delicious this morning - we had it for breakfast.

  7. Cheese in steak and ale pie sounds intriguing - I'm not sure I'm convinced but I might just have to give it a go ;)

    The cornbread looks gorgeous. I've never tried it before either, but it looks so good I think I'll add it to my list (except this may involve getting an additional cook book as I don't think I actually have a recipe... I could look online of course, but where's the fun in that?!)

  8. Cornbread is such a simple recipe I think it might be pushing the boundaries of sensible to buy a whole new cookbook just for that! I will send you the recipe :)

    And the cheese in pie thing - totally amazing idea. Mind you, we have a bit of a demented cheese lust going on in this house, so we put cheese in practically everything.

  9. You COULD eat cake warm spread with butter....


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