January Comfort Food

Whisky Steak Pie

Ingredients for the filling:

- 25g sunflower oil

- 25g plain flour

- salt and pepper to taste 500-700g braising steak, cut into small pieces

- 1 onion, finely chopped

- 225g button mushrooms, halved

- 3 beef stock cubes 600ml

- boiling water

- 100ml Scotch Whisky Sauce

Ingredients for the pastry:

- 225g (8 oz) plain flour

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 100g (4 oz) butter

- Cold water to mix 1 egg

Method

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Sift the flour into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss the meat pieces in the flour to lightly coat and then add the meat to the frying pan and keep the remaining seasoned flour to one side. Fry the meat in the oil until brown. Add the onion and mushrooms to the meat. Sprinkle the remaining flour into the pan and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Add the scotch whisky sauce and more seasoning. Add the stock cubes to the boiling water and stir until dissolved, then add it into the pan so that the meat is covered. If your frying pan is quite small, then you may find it easier to transfer the meat mixture to a bigger saucepan before adding the stock. Leave this to simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is as thick or thin as you like it. Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas 2. Whilst this is simmering make the pastry by firstly sifting the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut into the flour using a knife and then rub in with fingers. The mixture should start to look like fine breadcrumbs. Slowly add cold water to the crumbs and mix to a stiff crumbly looking paste. Bring together the paste using a wooden spoon, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead quickly until smooth and crack free. Once the filling is to your desired consistency pour the mixture into a pie dish. Roll out the pastry so that is big enough to cover the pie dish. The thinner you roll it out the crispier your pastry will be. Cover the pie dish with the pastry and pierce a few times with a fork so that air can escape. Trim any excess pastry from the edges. Beat the egg in a cup and brush it all over the pastry Place in the oven for 40 minutes and then turn the temperature up to 200-220 C / Gas 6-7 and cook for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown.

 

cake

Whiskey Chocolate Gateux

Ingredients for the sponge cake:

225ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

250g self-raising flour

4 level tbsp coco powder

1 1/2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda

225g caster sugar

3 large eggs

225ml semi-skimmed milk

3 tbsp Whisky syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

For the ganache icing:

2tblsp whisky

chocolate

300ml double cream

25g caster sugar

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 100g

 

chocolate Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with oil and line the bases with baking paper. Sift the flour, coco and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Add the caster sugar and stir to mix. In another bowl, gently whisk together the eggs, 225ml oil, milk, syrup and vanilla until blended. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture, using a spatula to scrape out the bowl. Whisk until smooth. Divide between the tins and bake for 30 minutes until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks and leave until cold. While the cakes are baking, make the ganache, as it needs plenty of time to cool. Gently heat the double cream, sugar and vanilla until almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Pour onto the whisky chocolate and stir until completely melted. Leave until cold and starting to thicken. You can cool it in the fridge for a short while, but don't let it get too hard. If it does harden up, soften it by leaving in the warm kitchen. Or put it in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, but watch carefully and stir constantly. Sandwich the cakes together with the ganache, then use to cover the top and sides.

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