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Simple Simon's Perfect Steak and Ale Pie

Simple Simon’s Perfect Steak and Ale Pie

According to the American Pie Council the very first pie recipe was published by the Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie. Early pies were predominately meat pies and originally appeared in England as early as the twelfth century. British Pie Week  is a celebration of this historic meal that has brought so much joy to so many food lovers. The beauty of pies is that they are literally pastry packaged meals and you can fill your pastry with pretty much anything you like. I for one love my pies filled with meat which is why I was so excited to receive these Steak and Gunner ale pies from Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies as a gift to review.

Made with  chunks of Scotch Beef casseroled with Gunner Ale, carrots and set on potato this is a wholesome, hearty pie. The crust taste delicious, flaky and fresh. The quality of the meat was really good, there was one chunk of carrot which probably could have been sliced up into smaller chunks. But even the minor imperfections like a chunk of carrot actually prove how authentic these pies are. The pies taste homemade!

Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies was established in 2005 in Coulter, a tiny village in the south of Scotland and sends pies across The UK. With a great range of pies there’s something for everyone, from meat lovers to vegans!

Visit www.simplesimonspies.co.uk to find out more.

A Very Lazy Ginger Beef Stir Fry

When the team at Very Lazy sent me some products samples to review I was excited that I finally had a guilt free excuse to try their products. I recall a friend once sending a message to me stating “what has the world come to?” with a picture of a Very Lazy jar of chopped garlic or ginger and I chuckled. I honestly thought that it was a great idea because let’s all be honest food prep can sometimes take up far too much time and if you’ve had a long day at work, have lots of mouths to feed or in fact if you have a physical issue which makes things difficult in the kitchen these products make absolute sense. That being said my steadfast need to chop my own garlic has not allowed me to just pop a jar or tube of a Very Lazy product in my shopping basket. Is it fear of judgment? Perhaps. But as I get older that fear of judgment is becoming less and less significant and so I embraced the opportunity of being very lazy with gusto. I embraced it with so much gusto that when I realised that I didn’t have all the ingredients for the stir-fry and that I might have to leave my home in pursuit of the missing items this was my reaction:

via GIPHY

So I was authentically “Very Lazy” and didn’t use corn flour, sherry or cashew nuts, which may or may not have had an impact on the overall outcome of the stir fry but it tasted good to me regardless! These products are such a blessing – they made everything so easy! If you’re concerned that the garlic/chilli/ginger won’t taste fresh so to speak then set your mind at ease, they taste great. So aside from saving you time, they enhance your dishes as they would if you were chopping them up from scratch.

very lazy ginger beef stir fry

Here’s the recipe of the Ginger Beef Stir Fry which you can try just in time for Chinese New Year or simply as a treat for yourself any day of the week.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 15 minutes marinating time

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons Very Lazy Chopped Ginger

1 teaspoon Very Lazy Chopped Garlic

1 teaspoon cornflour

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or sherry

450 g beef rump steak, trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

400 g ready prepared stir- fry vegetables

75 g cashew nuts, toasted

To serve:

Egg noodles or rice

  1. In a bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, cornflour, 1 tablespoon of the soy and wine or sherry. Stir in the beef and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a wok or large frying pan, until really hot, add the beef strips and marinade and stir-fry over a high heat for 2-3 minutes until browned. Remove from the pan .
  3. Add the remaining oil and when hot, add the stir- fry vegetables and cashews and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.
  4. Return the beef and any juices to the wok, then stir in the remaining soy sauce and wine or sherry. Stir constantly until the sauce has coated all the ingredients.
  5. Serve immediately with noodles or rice.

For more tasty Very Lazy recipes and inspiration visit www.verylazy.com and to find out more about Very Lazy follow on Twitter @VeryLazyFood, Instagram @VeryLazyFoodUK or Facebook @VeryLazyFood

Pelagonia aivar

A Taste of Macedonia with Aivar

I was lucky enough to be sent a jar of Aivar (also known as Ajvar) by the good folks at Pelagonia to review. I love trying new and unusual products and aivar is something I had never tried before. Made from roasted red peppers ground with aubergine, it makes the perfect meze, an accompaniment to go with meals or to be served as a dip. This is a rich and vibrant sauce that whilst flavoursome is not overpowering which is why it goes so well with other ingredients. I had some aivar with fried eggs on sourdough bread for breakfast and enjoyed the taste combination. The rustic flavour cut through the savoury bread with the creamy texture of the egg yolk enhancing the rich and vibrant aivar.

Pelagonia aivar

Pelagonia aivar

Pelagonia is an award-winning Macedonian food range based on the very best traditional recipes from Macedonia. Many products from the range feature peppers, Macedonian peppers are known for their size and sweetness throughout the region; with 300 days of sunshine and a fantastic heritage of agriculture. Sounds like a place that I should visit soon! 

There are lots of ways to eat aivar – #52Ways to be exact. Download this great recipe and serving suggestion guide and be creative!

You can find aivar in Waitrose, Ocado and Sainsbury’s.

For more information about the range visit: www.pelagonia.co.uk