The Reformer's Firebrand

*-{The New Canadian Colonist's Advocate }-* A commentary of fiery reformist sentiment from the spirit of it's 210 year old Canadian ghost publisher patron. This will be a home to the new wave of anti-partisan advocacy for defeating Canada's second "family compact" and reinstallation of responsible governance in this 21st century new Canadian democratic dominion.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different!


Yes, indeed we does! And here is my personal secret recepe for proper Gumby porter pies:

This yields 4-9” pies or 10-5” pies (adjust quantities as needed ¼ =1 - 9” or 3 -5” pies)

500ml Fuller’s porter or a dark bock or a malty stout (malty black beer low on hops)
1lb lean ground beef
1lb ground pork
3-4 cups of finely diced portabellos or a combo of portobello and crimini Mushrooms
2 –3 large cloves of garlic (minced)
2 large red shallots diced chopped
1 medium yellow onion chopped fine
1 or 11/2 large potato (coarse grated)
2 medium Carrots (coarse grated)
4 slices of bacon (diced)
1 cup 10-14% cream
1 Package dry onion soup mix
2 tbsp liquid Bovril ( or ad another half packet onion soup)
11/2-2 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
Hot or piquant paprika to taste (about ¾ tsp)
Couple dashes of hot sauce or pepper to taste
salt to taste
A Pinch or two of celery seed
A pinch or two of marjoram
2 egg whites
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp basil pesto
1-3 tbsp flour ( I use the fine “sauce” flour in the shaker)

4 pie shells and 4 pilsbury pie pastry tops
Scratch Pastry:

(Makes pastry for 1-9” pie crust top and bottom)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter or margarine
6 tablespoons chilled malty lager
2 teaspoons wine vinegar

1. Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor.
2. Add shortening and butter and chop-mix until mixture resembles coarse meal.
3. Transfer mixture to bowl.
4. Mix 6 tablespoons beer and vinegar in small bowl; pour over flour mixture.
5. Stir with fork until moist clumps form, adding more beer by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.
6. Gather dough into 2 balls; roll each into disk
7. place one in pie pan reserve other for top crust


1) Prep all the diced and grated ingredients first.
2) Brown the meat in a skillet with a few onions and garlic, drain this meat when browned through a colander and put aside ( save drippings)
3) Put the diced bacon in a fry pan and sweat the grease from it
4) When the pan has some bacon drippings add a bit of the meat drippings as needed to sauté the mushrooms and onion
5) When onion is translucent and mushrooms is getting soft , add the drained meat to the pan
6) Blend meat mushroom and onion with rest of the garlic- add the beer and cream and stir.
7) When this is bubbling add the Bovril, onion soup and let simmer for 5 min
8) Add the grated carrot and potato and remaining spices, mix, then put a lid on the pan and let slow simmer for 15 min adding water (or Beer) if/as needed to keep a 10% liquid content.
9) Adjust seasoning if needed, bring to a rolling simmer and add flour as needed to make the mixture a thick pie-filling consistency.
10) Ladle meat mixture into prepared pastry-lined pans and put top crusts in place.
11) Mix the egg yolk, olive oil and basil pesto in a cup whisk to bend, brush on top crust and score (perforate) top crust
12) Place pies in pans on middle rack of oven at 375 deg.F. for 30-40 min or until top crust is flaky and browned

  • I use a large electric fry-pan for this but any large skillet that can contain the total ingredients and be covered is OK
  • ¼ the ingredient list for 1-9” pie or 3-5” pies and then the pastry recipe will do you without multiplying it
  • The cream is essential…you may balk at putting cream and beer in the same pan put believe me it makes the finished product unique and well worth while.
  • The store-bought pastry is faster, easy to use and tasted just as good. Try to find the Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, they are great for this and especially good for making smaller 5” pies because the trims can be rolled and reused to make more crusts Sobeys usually has this in the dairy case next to the Pillsbury croissants.

This malty confection makes the best savoury meat pies I ever tasted…and I don’t like pastry but this is pure ambrosia to the palate and well into the “comfort food” genre. Served with a tall tankard of crafted ale this is a meal fit to savor as Rome burns around you.


Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

Hey thanks for the recipes, I will try these out.

February 18, 2008 at 4:06 PM  

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