My pantry

A Pie in the Sky is Worth Two on the Plate…..Beef & Lentil Pie with Parmesan Pastry

March 8, 2013

Beef and lentil pie ingredientsI’ve had a really crazy week.

A week of cooking and shooting and I tasted the dream and as I was riding that wave it actually sucked me under and dumped me, complete with sand graze on the chin and pants full of shit grit.

Have you ever started something and it suddenly grew to be bigger than you imagined, so you kinda freaked out and wished you never started, except that you really want to finish so you just hide in a deep hole for a second? Or two?

Or ten.

As you know I’m currently turning my ebooks from cyber books to real booky books, that will smell like books and turn like books and that’s really exciting.

I’ve already done the hard work, right? So, it’s easy right?

I’ve followed my standard formula, which is surround myself with people who are professionals, so no one will actually realise I’m a busker.
It’s a brilliant scheme…..until one of the professionals notices that you have made a rookie error and ALL of the photos you’ve taken from the very beginning are perfect for a blogger, but not for someone who actually wants to publish their images.

Danielle….. You. Muppet.

What exactly does this mean?

Reshooting EVERYTHING.

Except one, measly, image that somehow made the cut.

So, first I tried to blame someone else, but my finger prints were all over it. So I tried to worm my way out of it, and then I squeezed out a few tears that seared my cheeks with frustration.

My ego was bruised. I decided it was all too hard. I’d spend my time in the kids’ sleep eating soft centred chocolates and watching Doctor Oz talk about which groceries are best bought in bulk instead of working on this crazy, pie in the sky dream that I have.

Good plan.

beef and lentil pie with parmesan pastryI gave myself an upper cut, told my ego to take a hike and suggested I stop being such a snivelling wimp and just get on with it. It’s the perfect opportunity to test all of the recipes again.

That seemed to do the trick, which is lucky because I never liked Doctor Oz anyway.

Also, our cover shoot got rained out. We shot something, and that something is perfectly lovely, but it’s not IT. It’s not the image I have in my head, so I must try once more to make it happen.

I have set a date to reshoot the cover and pleaded with the angels to please grant me a weather wish for just a few hours of one day. I can control many things but I can’t control this freaky assed weather we’re having. Begging for divine intervention is about all I have.

So, I guess you could say, I’ve had a little on my plate. It was all a tad overwhelming.

While I was cooking beef and lentil pies tonight, I received a message from one of the very first people to purchase my ebook.

She sent me 2 photos of my food that she and her husband had cooked, and told me she was working her way through my books and she loved them.
She said I inspired her to be a better mum, which is insane because I bet she never left her toddler to watch her baby, who subsequently fell off the bed.

As I put those little pies on the plate I cried and cried.

Mister H came into the kitchen and caught me and when I explained myself he was perplexed.

“But this is a lovely message to receive, right? What’s wrong?”

The tears were because just when I thought I was drowning, the Universe sent me a pair of Floaties. Divine intervention, indeed.

I have a dream, and even though it may be pie in the sky, it’s a damn good dream, and without dreams what do we have?

Do you have a pie in the sky dream? Will you share it with me?

Beef Lentil Ramekin Pies with Accidental Parmesan Pastry

You could use bought puff pastry for your top, like I was planning to, but when I went to grab it I was out…..oh, balls.
I was forced to whip up a quick pastry and I wondered what it would be like if I added parmesan…….OMFG, yum!

parmesan pastry

If you can be arsed, do it. If not, I will judge you not. I served it with smashed cauliflower, pumpkin and peas.

D Man ate this as is, and I gave Kiki a couple of spoons of pie mixture with the vege mash… for the whole family, my peeps. Cook once…..not thrice.

D Man eating pie

What you will need :

For the filling –

  • 300g beef mince (I used left over rare roast beef, minced)
  • 1 tin lentils, drained
  • 2 bacon rashers
  • 1 large leek, white only, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh green herbs (thyme, oregano)
  • 1 handful of fresh chopped parsley
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups of beef stock
  • a slug of worcestershire sauce
  • a big splash of red wine
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tablespooons plain flour
  • salt and pepper

For the pastry – 

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 100g chilled butter, chopped
  • 50g parmesan
  • a good pinch salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons iced water

Make the pastry first as it needs to rest in the fridge for between 1-4 hours depending on how impatient you are…..

In a food processor chuck your flour and salt, add your butter and parmesan and pulse until in resembles bread crumbs, add water one spoon at a time until it comes together in a ball.

Take from processor, form into a cool shape and wrap and fridge it.

cutting the pastry tops

In a heavy based frypan, add your bacon to a little olive oil, and when it’s getting nice and cooked add mince. When cooked throw in your leek, stirring until it’s all broken down and soft. Add your carrots and celery.

Chuck in your stock, worcester and herbage, then add your lemon zest and wine. Season to taste. When your carrots are soft, toss in your lentils and stir. Add more wine if it’s too dry.

beef and lentil pie with parmesan pastryMix your flour into your water and when it’s well combined toss it into your mix. When you sauce is slightly thickened, turn her off and leave until you’re ready to roll.

Spoon into ramekins or pie dish (you could use porcelain cups if you were being cute).

Preheat oven to 200C

Roll out your dough until it’s about 5mm thick. Cut circles using a bowl or something similarly sized to ramekins and pop your tops on.

Stick in heated over until the tops are golden brown.

Steam up some veges to mash on the side and you are good to go!

Im flogging my blog with the lovely Grace today, so check out my fellow floggers if you have a spare mo.

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  • Reply Kimba Likes March 8, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Keep kicking butt and living your dream! That’s amazeballs! My pie in the sky dream is to get paid for doing something I love, and today I got a little email that is heading in the right direction. I’m beside myself with excitement x

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys March 9, 2013 at 7:26 am

      I’m excited just reading that! I don’t think your dream is asking too much and I’m sure the angels are on the case for you.
      Best of luck x

  • Reply Cooker and a Looker March 8, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Keep the faith Danielle! Your book will be fab and I promise to be first in the (online) queue to buy it. I hope you catch a break in the weather and your next cover shoot is fabulous.
    PS. Do you realise how fabulous it sounds to even have a cover to shoot Mrs Holsby? 🙂

  • Reply Mrs D March 8, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Keep that grazed chin up lovely lady, & crossing all the things that the weather gods play nice. xxx

  • Reply Bunny Eats Design March 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Yay for floaties! Go you for making your dreams come true. You are a rip current. Currents don’t find holes to hide in. Be strong!

    I love the shirtless pie eater. I don’t know if it’s because of the weather or because he’s a feral child or because it’s easy clean up after a messy meal if you can just throw him into the bath, but I like it.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys March 8, 2013 at 9:03 am

      All of the above!!! We’d just come home from the beach. Beach and pie. Very Aussie!!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 08/03/2013, at 8:49 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions March 8, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Those pies sound yum, I am gonna have to convince the husband to have a go making them (as I am not a great cook and he has next week off too!). I bought your e-books the other day and have only had a brief look through them but I already have a few things in mind to give a try once all the wedding madness of next week is over (not my wedding, a good friends, Dave and I are both in the bridal party though).

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys March 9, 2013 at 7:25 am

      I love a wedding!!
      Let me know how you go with the book. I’ve had a few ‘non-cooks’ use them and love them……or just mark the pages you want your hubby to make 😉

  • Reply Willy March 9, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Keep on Keeping on, Dan Dan. luv Z wilsons

  • Reply mamagrace71 March 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    “The tears were because just when I thought I was drowning, the Universe sent me a pair of Floaties. Divine intervention, indeed.” – Isn’t it just an amazing feeling when that happens?
    The pie looks so yum! Love the combination of beef and lentils!

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