English Pie

‘Good House Keeping Cookery Book’ from 1985 provides me again with another amazing pie. I admit it is one of the least favourite pie of mine. I don’t like some of the vegetables, but I know it is very healthy and good. And vegetarian. I made it once for the sake of someone dear and it was a success, as always. I almost wish to make it again, as I write about it for the second time (first time being in Romanian). I imagine a mother and a father and 2-3 kids, around the table and a hot dish pie in the middle of it, steaming, plus boiled French beans and Brussels sprouts or stir-fried spring beans, to serve. A…

Wholemeal Vegetable Pie

for 4


  •  3 medium leeks, trimmed
  • 275 g (10 oz) swede, peeled
  • 225 g (8 oz) turnip, peeled
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled
  • 100 g (4 oz) butter
  • 225 g (8 oz) large flat mushrooms, sliced
  • 25 g (1 oz) plain flour
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) vegetable stock
  • 175 g (6 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, chives, thyme, marjoram) or 10 ml (2 tsp) dried herbs
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 175 g (6 oz) Wholemeal Shortcrust Pastry (I am afraid I don’t have the recipe in my blog, but you can find it here)
  • beaten egg, to glaze


  • Cut the leeks into 2,5 cm (1 inch) lengths, then wash well under cold running water to remove any grit. Cut the swede, turnip and carrots into small bite-sized chunks.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the prepared vegetables and fry over moderate heat for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in the flour and cook gently, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Gradually blend in the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. pour into a 1.1 litre (2 pint) pie dish and allow to cool for about 1 hour.
  • Roll put the pastry on a floured surface. Cut out a thin strip long enough to go around the rim of the pie dish. Moisten the rim with water and place the strip of pastry on the rim.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the pie. Moisten the strip of pastry on the rim of the dish, place the lid on top, trim off any excess pastry and press to seal.
  • Knock up and flute or crimp the edge. Decorate the top with any pastry trimmings. If you want to eat this as a ready meal, later, freeze it. If not, brush with beaten egg. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Bake the pie in the oven at 190°C, 375°F, mark 5 for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Serve hot, with vegetables.

Bon appetite!



Lemon Meringue Pie

Am I not lucky? Of course I am. I thought about a recipe and I couldn’t find it at home. But somebody up there really loves me. And it is not chance that brought me the recipe I wanted. I guess what I wish for comes true. Sooner or later. I really love cooking so this wish came true, as I wanted it with all my heart and for a long time. At least I haven’t bumped into it at Christmas! 😉

This is another English pie, made with digestive biscuits for a new twist. Originally it is made with shortcrust pastry but… if you are tired or not in the mood for too much cooking, cut straight to the biscuits. Lemon is another fruit that deserves a recipe too. In Romania it is seen as a flavoury thing in other sweets but I am glad to discover new ways of cooking it entirely. Plus, it makes your mouth water. I know I love it, the sour taste of lemon with the sweetness of the meringue. One more thing before I write down the recipe: it was taken and tested soo many times from ”Original Card from Delicious Meals Made Easy”, Group 11, Sweet Pies & Tarts


Preparation time: 20 min plus chilling      Cooking time: 40 min

Makes 8 slices


  • 225 g (8 oz) digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 50 g (2 oz)  butter, melted (please do not use margarine, you deserve the real thing)
  • juice and finely grated rind of 3 large lemons
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour (you can use plain flour as replacement)
  • 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar (or icing sugar or granulated one if you don’t have or can’t find caster sugar)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 100 (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence


  • Preheat the oven to 170 °C/ 325 °F/ gas 3. Put the crushed biscuits in a mixing bowl. Add melted butter and mix well with a wooden spoon. Firmly press the biscuit mixture into base and up the side of a 23 cm (9 in) flan dish.
  • For the filling, mix together the lemon juice, rind and cornflour in a large bowl. Bring 450 ml (3/4 pint) water to the boil in a pan. Stir enough of the water into the cornflour mixture to make a smooth paste.
  • Return mixture to pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring, until thickened. Stir in caster sugar. Cool slightly, then beat in egg yolks. Pour onto base.
  • For the meringue, put the egg whites in a clean bowl. Whisk with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Whisk in two-thirds of the sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form. Fold in the remaining sugar and vanilla essence.
  • Spread meringue over filling. Swirl surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool, then chill until required.

Bon appetite!

Shepherd’s Pie

Everybody knows about Shepherd’s Pie. I hope. 😉 I really like this dish and when I have first eaten it, I didn’t know what to expect. I discovered a very tasty and homey food. It makes me smile just talking about it. That is why I have made it several times and I would do it again, on a freezing winter day. It goes very well with boiled vegetables and a red wine. And a warm heart. 🙂

Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 4-6


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 115 g (4 oz) mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500 g (1 1/4 lb) lean chuck steak, minced (ground)
  • 150 ml (1/4 pt) red wine
  • 150 ml (1/4 pt) beef stock (if you don’t want to use wine, just put 300 ml of beef stock  or water)
  • bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
  • 675 g (1 1/2 lb) potatoes, boiled
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 3 tbsp hot milk
  • 5 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan or big pan, add the onion, carrot,mushrooms  and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir the beef into the pan and cook, stirring to break up the lumps, until lightly browned.
  • Blend a few spoonfuls of the stock or water with the flour, then stir this mixture into the pan. Stir in the remaining stock or water and wine, and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add the bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, tomato purée (paste), the cover and cook very gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pan towards the end of cooking to allow any excess water to evaporate, if necessary.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 °C, 375 °F, Gas Mark 5.
  • Put the potatoes in a pan with water, to boil, until very tender. Drain then mash with the butter, milk and seasoning.
  • Add the tarragon and seasoning to the mince in the pan, then pour into a pie dish or baking dish.Top with a layer of sliced tomatoes, then an even layer of potato. Mark the top with the prongs of a fork.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Bon appetite!

Ceva traditional

Stiu ca despre bucataria englezeasca nu prea poti zice multe. Parerea mea, dupa ce am stat o vreme pe acolo si descoperind arome, gusturi, ingrediente si retete noi, este ca mancarea lor e foarte buna si au o si traditie culiniara. Nu te gandi la fish and chips, ca asta nu caracterizeaza o natie. Englezii au o bucatarie gustoasa, calda, cu multe legume. Reteta asta, de exemplu, imi aduce aminte de mancarea gatita de acasa. Este foarte buna si am decis sa o scriu pentru ca merita. Am combinat doua retete, culese, una dintr-o carte “Traditional British Cooking” 1998 si cealalta din Tesco Magazine. Vorbesc acum de celebra placinta a pastorului. Nu este o placinta propriu-zis dar este delicioasa. Chiar nu ma asteptam sa imi placa asa mult.

Necesita ceva munca, pentru ca trebuie sa prepari o data carnea, apoi piure-ul dar se merita. Si la cat iese, mananci a doua zi si scapi de gatit. Eu zic ca se merita. Daca ai insa musafiri, nu te mai gandi ca scapi, dar tot merita.

Placinta pastorului

4 – 6 portii


  • 2 linguri ulei
  • 1 ceapa, tocata marunt
  • 1 morcov, tocat marunt
  • 2 capatani de usturoi, tocate marunt
  • 115 g ciuperci, tocate
  • 500 g carne de vita, tocata (daca ai posibilitatea, cumpara bucata intreaga si roaga la magazin sa ti-o toace sau daca ai robot acasa, fa-o singur)
  • 150 ml vin rosu
  • 150 ml supa de vita (daca nu vrei vin, nu e obligatoriu, si atunci foloseste 300 ml de supa de vita sau apa)
  • 1 frunza dafin
  • 1 lingura faina
  • 1 lingura sos Worcestershire
  • 2-3 picaturi sos Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 lingura piure de rosii
  • sare
  • piper
  • 675 g cartofi
  • 5 rosii medii , feliate (optional)
  • 25 g unt
  • 45 ml lapte fierbinte
  • 1 lingura tarhon proaspat tocat (daca nu ai, foloseste tarhon uscat, dar o lingurita; de obicei mirodeniile uscate sunt mai concentrate si nu e nevoie sa pui aceeasi cantitate ca cele proaspete)


  • Incalzeste uleiul intr-o tigaie adanca si mare. Adauga ceapa, morcovul, ciupercile si usturoiul si amesteca din cand in cand pana devin aurii. Adauga apoi carnea tocata, amestecand bine pana se prajeste.
  • Intr-un bol amesteca faina cu cateva linguri de supa de vita, adaug-o in carne si pune si restul de supa si vin, amestecand continuu. Adauga foaia de dafin, sosul Worcestershire, sosul Tabasco, piure-ul de rosii, acopera si lasa la foc mic o ora, amestecand din cand in cand. Lasa fara capac la final, daca e cazul, sa se evapore si restul de apa.
  • Incalzeste cuptorul la 190°C, 375°F, nr.  5 la cuptorul cu gaz.
  • Fierbe cartofii bine apoi strecoara-i si fa-i piuree cu unt, lapte, sare si piper.
  • Adauga la carnea din tigaie tarhonul proaspat tocat, sarea si piperul, amesteca si rastoarna compozitia intr-un vas yena sau de ceramica, intins. Pune pe toata suprafata feliile de rosii, apoi piure-ul, joaca-te putin cu furculita ca sa ii faci un model deasupra si la cuptor cu vasul. Coace-l cca 25 de minute, pana se face auriu deasupra si serveste. Eu vad mancarea asta calda foarte potrivita pentru anotimpul rece, miroase imbietor si as servi-o cu legume fierte, de orice fel. Cele care merg bine, dupa parerea mea, sunt varza de Bruxelles si brocoli. Dar depinde de gusturi acum.

Pofta buna!