7 February 2013

GUEST BLOG: Pukka pies

By guest blogger TRACEY

A delicious, hearty and nutritious stew mix was cooked up at the Approved Premises on Wednesday 6 February. The group was one man down but this didn’t hinder spirits on the prepping production line! Eager to get on, we had two volunteers to chop the leeks and garlic, while the remaining vegetables were distributed out to the other three. Peeling the butternut squash, celeriac and the beautiful candy-striped beetroot proved a challenge as the skin for each is quite tough to remove. However, the guys had a choice of  tools to helps them - a paring knife, vegetable peeler or a 8” knife - so the veg was soon peeled and chopped to approx 2cm cubed. Red onions, sweet potatoes and parsnips were also peeled and chopped, while the red chillies were deseeded and finely sliced. 

The group was delighted that meat was being added to the mix, so two of them cut away the fatty pieces, then chopped the boneless chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces. Alison pointed out that this cut of meat is quick to cook but also tasty and cheap – handy for all as we aim to cook up nutritious, healthy and economical dishes. The veg was saut√©ed for a few minutes prior to adding the chicken. A short while after, the fragrant but subtle tasting bouillon was used as stock, then bay leaves, salt, chillies and tomato puree were added to the pan and the stew was left to cook. 

Meanwhile, flour was weighed out for the dumplings and more was measured for the suet crust top for the pies. Fat was added to each bowl, but the rosemary, which was chopped finely – filling the room with an amazing aroma, was only added to the suet pastry. I think all participants were delighted with the end result as second portions were dished up and it was great to hear such comments as: “the food tastes fresh”, “it's good homemade comfort food” and “there's lots of vitamins in it”. Wholly agreed with on my part! Thanks to everyone for a delicious big hearty lunch.

There are more photos from this session on the official CGF Facebook page, here.

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