Once upon a time
Once upon a time when I was young I lived in England for a couple of years and learned to cook lovely dishes from the cook in the kitchen of Little Plumstead Hospital.
So what is Plumstead Pie exactly?
Plumstead Pie is an oven dish and not difficult to make but it will take you quite some time to prepare it so take your time in the kitchen.
Over the years I have adjusted the recipe a little bit myself too as my children didn’t like one or two of the ingredients, parsnip for example and at some point in my life I added mushrooms, but it’s still authentic and in large lines his idea. I just use just winter carrot or sweet potatoes instead of parsnip.
In this case I used broccoli and sweet potatoes instead of parsnips and peas as the Mrs doesn’t like them and we want to keep her happy don’t we. I have written down the recipe to the best of my recollection of the original (it’s been over thirty years since he showed me how to do it).
And now, without further delay here it is: Plumstead Pie, my tribute to the Cook of Little Plumstead Hospital, Anzio Cabrini.
- Winter carrot
- Green peas
- Minced meat
- One egg
Use sweet potato or winter carrot instead of parsnip and broccoli or broken green beans instead of green peas.
Making the dough
Put 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of flour and 5 ounces (150 grams) butter in a bowl or a kitchen machine and add a pinch of salt. Mix it until it’s a solid ball that doesn’t stick to the bowl.
Grease a cake tin with some butter and spread the dough using your knuckles and thumbs or spread it out on a large wooden board using a rolling pin. Roll out some dough to a long stretch to put on the sides to the brim of the cake tin and make it stick to the bottom pressing it with your thumbs. If you choose to use a rolling pin you can cut out a circle and stretched rectangle with a knife. Make two circles as one has to go on top of the pie later.
Making the fillings
Peel the winter carrot and parsnip and dice it into small bits. Measure one cup of frozen green peas. Let the winter carrot boil (they can go together in one pan) for just 10 minutes tops and put them in a sieve.
Cook the minced meat and stir so it’s loose and add the cut up mushrooms if you want them in the pie. Boil water and make gravy, make it nice and rich and add that to the minced meat, mix it thoroughly.
Putting it all together
Boil the potatoes and mash them adding grated cheddar to it and stir. It’s now time to add it to the cake tin with the dough, first you put the vegetables in and spread them out. Put the minced meat on top of the vegetables and spread it out equally. Spread the mashed potato all over it so the pie is full. Put some Nutmeg powder on top of it and cover it with the circle of dough you made earlier.
Split an egg and put the yoke away. Use the egg white to glaze the top and put it in a preheated oven (around 180 Celsius/350F) for about 30-45 minutes until it’s nice and brown and everyone in the house can smell it. Bon appetit!
Download this recipe in PDF: plumstead_pie.pdf