Happy British Pie Week!
I say, my dear fellows, in the spirit of British Pie Week Miss Windsor’s been having an absolute blast reviving age-old recipes from the past! Therefore, regarding the next item on the menu, and just in the nick of time before this wonderful week comes to an end, one wished to "Spitfire" back to the British wartime days and recreate something frightfully healthful and wholesome – a dish Grandmother Josie would’ve certainly approved of!
May I present the rather delectable and exceedingly homely Miss Windsor's Wartime Meatless Farmhouse Pie - How splendid! You see, I stumbled upon two terribly toothsome and similar pie recipes in my copy of Recipes of the 1940’s by Irene Veal. Therefore, my version is a fusion of both, just minus the meat! Oh, and darlings, evidently, you’ll soon discover that the operative word for British Pie Week in the Miss Windsor household is VEAL!
You’ll be pleased to know, that this easy, yet frightfully filling recipe is created with an abundance of vegetables such as carrots (which were plentiful during WWII), potatoes, swede, onion, seasoning, mixed dried herbs, little vegetable stock, and the piece de resistance – the wartime luxury of tinned peas!
Oh, and thank the dear Lord (Woolton!) that I had a little suet plus enough flour in my green and cream enamel flour tin to make a dough, and so I covered this delightful concoction with a thick, feathery, rather mouth-watering blanket of suet pastry – truly scrumptious!
Now, just a quick word about the courageous carrot! I’m proud to say that during WWII carrots played an important role in feeding the nation. The UK Ministry of Food encouraged the good folks of Britain to substitute rationed goods for carrots instead, therefore, the Agricultural Ministry increased the commercial production of this life-saving culinary asset.
And thankfully, particularly orange carrots, they’re bursting with vital nutrients such as "vitamin A", and so are known to be "good for one’s eyesight" - How bloomin' marvellous! Also, darlings, do you have any idea how many dishes one can rustle up with our trusty carrot? Well, my dears, purely for your delectation, may I indulge you with the following: Mrs Beeton's Carrot Pudding, carrot soup, carrot jam, carrot cookies, carrot fudge, carrot cake, carrot tart, and so on!
Darlings, one of the recipes I based my spiffing version on originally required "very little meat", any kind of meat, in fact, including Great Britain’s beloved bacon!
But unfortunately, Miss Windsor used every last scrap of meat from her rather sparse larder to recreate her first offering to the arena of British Pie Week - Mrs Beeton’s Veal & Ham Pie, which one discovered in one’s 1906 version of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, originally published in 1861.
Now, I must divulge, in the Miss Windsor household we’ve regretfully used up all of our meat and egg rations for the entire week on that blasted pie! “Oh, dearie me!” I hear your squeal with oodles of concern! You see, as one will appreciate, Mrs Beeton’s mouth-watering recipe, evidently, is an exquisite Victorian dish of an acquired taste!
It called for plenty of veal, sliced hard-boiled eggs, seasoning, plus a dash of beef stock – and nothing more! I say, the pie dish was packed to the rafters with meat, and it took days to munch our way through this somewhat Victorian overindulgence!
Now, I must admit, I’ve been a trifle reckless with our precious rations, but nevertheless, Miss Windsor has certainly prevailed, and will not see anyone go hungry in wartime Britain! You see, thankfully, vegetables are not rationed here, so without further ado, I whipped up this delightful pie which is full to the brim with nutritious vegetables, plus the addition of a solitary tin of garden peas that I found lurking behind a rusty old tin of Bird’s Custard powder – How spiffing!
Oh, plus I threw in a smattering of garlic that I saved from dear Winnie’s allotment, which I chopped and dried during the summer months in readiness for a glorious pie moment like this!
Darlings I'm feeling awfully parched now! So, before I pop off to warm up my darling Brown Betty teapot for a well-deserved cuppa, to be, of course, supped from my sage green Wood's Ware Beryl cup and saucer. I must say in the Miss Windsor household not a thing is wasted, therefore, Grandmother Josie would often trumpet, “waste not, want not!”
Of course, she was absolutely correct, as I have very fond memories of my darling grandmother saving anything from a few grains of cooked rice, half a small boiled potato, to a handful of cheese crumbs that one would store in a Tupperware container and used to make the suppertime classic of Welsh rarebit – I dare say, you never know when that morsel of food may come in handy!
So, come along darlings, join the jolly old war effort and Eat for Victory!
ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY MISS WINDSOR
Miss Windsor’s Wartime Farmhouse Pie!
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 6 hungry guests!
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