Sunday, 23 January 2011

Homity Pies

What’s your favourite comfort food? What do you eat when it's been 'one of those days'? Well, some folk dive into a large bar (or two!) of Green & Black's or a tub of Haagen-Dazs, but as it happens I'm not that keen on either chocolate or ice-cream; for comfort eating I need serious carbs and plenty of 'em. Bring on the Homity Pies; pastry, potatoes and cheese....ooh yes, I'm feeling better already!

Now although this is quite obviously not health food, it is good for you in other ways; it's inexpensive, it's simplicity itself to make and it is guaranteed to give solace to the most battered heart and soul.

Homity Pie is a traditional English dish that was popular when times were hard and people couldn't afford to eat meat - perfect food for a veggie, in fact! There are probably 1001 recipes for it on the net but this is my version. If you don't manage to eat all 6 at once (!) the cooked pies freeze really well - just defrost and refresh in a moderate oven for 10 minutes.

I usually serve these with lots of fresh veg in order to kid myself that I'm offsetting the carb and calorie overload. However, if things are really dire, forget the veg and just have another pie...

450gm potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
3 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tbsp olive oil
25gm butter
Large handful of parsley, chopped.
150gm grated mature cheddar
ground black pepper
6 uncooked 10cm pastry cases (I use ready-made)

Boil or steam the potatoes until tender. Chop onions finely and saute in the olive oil with the garlic until lightly browned. In a large bowl combine the cooked potatoes and onions; add the butter, parsley and half the cheese. Mix well and season with black pepper. Cool, then fill the pastry cases and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place pies on a baking sheet and bake at 200C for about 25mins until golden.

Makes 6 individual pies or a 20cm pie if you prefer.

P.S. I forgot to mention that today is National Pie Day in the USA. I just love the idea that a country can have its own "American Pie Council"? Priceless!

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