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Ok, so pies. Me LOVES them. My family loves them. My partner Jim blames any weight gain on PIES (not the beer) it’s the pork pies, the ‘Georgie’ pie, the steak pie from the service station, the not so nice pie from the local dairy, so yeah, this week’s post about pies is not for the ‘diet conscious’ it’s for those seeking comfort, wintery, stay indoors, get your UGG boots on, kind of comfort and I decided to go BIG, extra portions, or leftovers the next day, but most importantly, made to share, for it is family day – the only day we all take a step back, turn off the TV, chat a bit, and sit at our dining room table to eat.

Ingrid’s Chicken + bacon pie to share
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Recipe type: Family
Serves: 6

What you need
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 rashers bacon, chopped
  • 100 g mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Edmonds plain baking flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ¼ teaspoon mixed herbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • white pepper
  • 1 cup drained canned corn kernels
  • 200 g flaky pastry
  • 1 egg yolk

How to make
  1. Remove skin from chicken. Cut flesh into 2.5cm cubes
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan
  3. Add bacon, mushrooms, onion and garlic
  4. Cook until onion is clear. Stir in flour and cook until frothy
  5. Gradually add stock and bring to the boil
  6. Add chicken, herbs, milk, salt and pepper to taste
  7. Reduce heat and cook gently for 20 minutes or until juices run clear when tested, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  8. Stir in corn
  9. Pour chicken mixture into a 20cm pie dish. Brush edge of dish with water
  10. On a lightly floured board roll out pastry to a circle large enough to fit top of pie dish
  11. Carefully place pastry over filling. Press edges firmly to seal then trim. Decorate pie with pastry trimmings. Cut steam holes in centre of pastry top. Brush pastry with egg yolk
  12. Bake at 220°C for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and well risen.

Notes + adaptations

No mushrooms in my kitchen, so I added a cup of chopped spinach from my garden, at the step 6. The chopped herbs I used were chives and parsley, again from my garden. No corn either. I used puff pastry (instead of flaky) cut into strips to make a lattice style top. It was delicious. I brushed my pastry with a little milk and crisped up the top by a few minutes under the grill.


Ingrid’s Chicken + bacon pie to share width=


For our readers not in NZ, the title refers to Mc Donalds selling the iconic “Georgie Pie” pies in 2 of their locations. Georgie Pie used to be the Mc Donalds of pies, and from memory they were pretty good. Sadly in 1998 all stores had closed. Over the years there has been many “Bring back Georgie Pie” campaigns. I even worked with a Kiwi guy in Dublin who when asked about his favourite meal for an Irish publication said Georgie Pie – Sweet as!

I can’t believe how easy this pie was! I never make my own pastry because it’s dirt cheap to buy and you can freeze it but this time I was out of supplies so had no choice. I followed the recipe to a T and didn’t try any experimental antics and was most impressed with the results. The filling is basically a savoury mince recipe that can easily be bumped up with any other vegetables. I added a can of baked beans, some leftover brocoli, peas and carrots so the kids got their vegetable fix. The trick to my success was using a cheap and cheerful pie maker I was given last Christmas. I have had it gathering dust in the hot water cupboard for the last 6 months and wondered if I should pass it on to someone who eats and makes more pies than me, but no, its definitly staying! It did take more time as you can only make 2 at a time but it was great for the kids and it didn’t seem to matter if I left them in the pie maker for too long.

Photographing the event was another story all together! Ingrid and I had the great idea of heading to the park with the kids to exert some energy, head back to my place with tired kids who would watch TV patiently while we both photographed our meals in my makeshift studio in the garage. (with a glass of wine!) The meals were also the kids dinner so the pressure was on to get it done fast – hungry kids are not happy kids!

So what went wrong?

  1. Jake decided to get the Christmas tree, decorations and lights out and erect early Christmas in his room. As much as I didn’t want the carefully put away decorations all over the house, I turned a blind eye and attempted to get our shoot done. (Tinsel and fake pine needles everywhere)
  2. Both Eliza and Leo were tired, wanting story after story read to them or to be held – they are both just over 1 year old. They also wanted to hang with the older kids who didn’t want them annoying them, so this resulted in chaos.
  3. Ingrid changed something in her camera and the image on camera and computer went a fluroescent green??? Anyone got any ideas about this?
  4. This affected my computer and although low on battery went fuzzy and dark???
  5. My pies went cold and looked unappetising and being hungry had to scoff one down so needed to make more.
  6. Ingrid thought her meal was too dry and  the background texture blended in with the mashed potatoes.
  7. The babies wouldn’t stop tormenting the cat. She is very placid but body slams – Leo and tail pulling – Eliza, are hard to ignore.

So lesson learnt, never work with kids or animals! Our published shoots are always without children (now) and usually away from our homes. Our blog images are done when we can fit them in – when kids are sleeping or after hours when they are all in bed. The latter relies on lights which opens a new can of worms getting to grips with artificial light sources and understanding how to get the best images with flattering lighting. We keep telling ourselves if it was easy everyone would be doing it and the set backs are all experiences to learn from and make you stronger in the long run. Another appropriate saying I picked up from a rogue Irish BF many years ago is “smile through your tears”.  That pretty much summed up our week!

Georgie Pie eat your heart out!
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Recipe type: Pies and Pastry
Serves: 4

What you need
  • Pastry
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 125g butter
  • cold water
  • 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon cold water to glaze the pastry
  • Pie
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 500g mince (beef)
  • 1½ tablespoons plain flour
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • salt

How to make
  1. Pastry (Food Processor)
  2. Have butter and water very cold.
  3. Dice butter.
  4. Put flour in a food processor.
  5. Add butter.
  6. Pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  7. Add water and pulse until mixture forms small balls.
  8. Do not overmix.
  9. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  10. Knead lightly.
  11. Wrap and chill for at least 15 minutes.
  12. Pie filling
  13. Heat oil in a frying pan.
  14. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is golden, stirring constantly.
  15. Add mince and cook until meat is browned and crumbly. Stir in flour and cook for 30 seconds.
  16. Gradually add stock.
  17. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  18. Stir in tomato puree and salt and pepper to taste.
  19. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  20. Set aside to cool.
  21. Cut pastry in half.
  22. On a lightly floured board roll out one portion and line a 22cm pie plate.
  23. Trim off excess.
  24. Wet edges of pastry.
  25. Spoon meat filling onto pastry.
  26. Roll remaining pastry to fit top of plate.
  27. Carefully place pastry over filling.
  28. Press edges firmly together.
  29. Decorate with any pastry trimmings.
  30. Combine egg yolk and water and brush over pastry.
  31. Make 2 holes in the center of pastry.
  32. Bake at 200 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden.

Notes + adaptations

I added a 300g can of baked beans and omitted the tomato puree. I needed more than the stated 1/2 cup stock. I upped it to 1 cup. I just used stock cubes. I added 2 chopped carrots to the onion and garlic mix, a few stray bits of broccoli I found in the fridge and a few handfuls of frozen peas at the end. I didn’t glaze with the egg yolk/water either or make the holes in my pastry.


Ingrid’s Chicken + bacon pie to share width=

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Comments (2)


2 Responses

  1. Genie says:

    Yum! Chicken, mushrooms and bacon go so well together. As a someone always looking to cut corners, do you know of any pies that don’t require pre-cooking the filling first like Cornish pasties? It seems like it would be nice to be able to skip a step if possible.

  2. I’m no pie expert but what about the bacon/egg/spinach combination – or maybe ham instead of the bacon? I guess the issue is making a sauce for the filling because I am guessing the meat if cut small would cook through whilst in the oven. Food for though – “skip a step pies” – will let you know when if I manage to nail it! Vanessa PS I used a cheap and cheerful pie maker and it was amazing – I am going to buy so wonton wrappers and try to do apple wonton pies – do you think it will work?

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