Thursday, 22 May 2008

A Steak and Stilton Pie

I happened to find myself at a Farmer's Market yesterday, and there was, as ever, delight and treasure aplenty. Great bunches of rhubarb, neat little rubberbanded bunches of asparagus, punnets (that wonderful word!) of strawberries - all seasonal and local and freshly picked, hurrah!

Despite this fresh veggie goodness, though, my eye was caught by the earnest-faced man selling pies; neat circular packages that tempted and beguiled with their flaky perfection and suggestive names. I fell upon the stall - metaphorically, not literally - and studied the pieman's wares with a practised eye.

Alas, the rabbit pie - my first choice - had already sold out. Vacillating only briefly, I quickly settled (again, not literally) upon the steak and stilton - that hallmark of a piemaker's skill. How tender would the steak be? How well-balanced the piquant, creamy stilton? How rich the gravy? Ah, the tasty adventure ahead! Be assured, dear reader, that I did not swoon in heady anticipation.

But alas and alack! Yesterday was not the day to discover the answer to these questions, as I departed the office in a hurry, leaving the pastry-encased treasure in the fridge at work. Imagine how hollow my evening fare was, having been promised pie but receiving none.

Today, happily, memory served, and the voyage of discovery was begun.

I can report that the pie was extremely satisfying. The pastry was tasty, if a little soggy from my method of re-heating (oven, rather than microwave, for reasons discussed elsewhere). The filling was ample: tender chunks of steak in thick gravy, not too runny. The stilton was mild, more of a tang than a twang, not overpowering.

In all, a pleasant pie, honestly sized, well-filled and tasty. Just as it should be.

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