Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Steak & Ale Pie with Bubble & Squeak Topping

If you are a regular reader to my blog you will know that in June The Old Red Lion entered into The Northampton Food & Drink Awards for 2013/2014 in 3 categories. You can read about it here if you missed the feature before.
Well, we were unsuccessful with a couple of our entries but very pleased to announce our Steak & Ale pies with Bubble & Squeak topping have made it through to the final 4 in The Artisan Product Of The Year. How great is that?!
After reaching the final our next stage of judging was to make 6 small individual pies to be judged by a small panel and also 200 tasting samples for a food festival held on September 7th.
We're in the final!

It's not often I make large pies but, in this case, it was the easiest and quickest way to produce 200 samples. So I got to work lining the bases with pastry.
Pie Bases
Whilst preparing the pastry I had the steak and ale mix cooking. This takes a good couple of hours so that the meat melts in your mouth!
Steak and Ale pie mix
Then lots of bubble and squeak topping to prepare.
Bubble & Squeak
Then finally putting it all together and baking in the oven.
Steak and Ale Pies for sampling
The food festival was held in a small local village called Weedon Lois and accompanied Weston and Weedon Horticultural Society's annual produce and flower show.
It was quite interesting to walk around the marquee and see what people had spent their year growing.
Look how big the onions were!!
A selection of produce at The Weston & Weedon Horticultural Show
Very weird looking carrots!
Weird shaped carrot

I personally was fascinated by these miniature gardens. Lots of thought and patience went into creating these.

miniature garden

Miniature garden
After looking round the show, and before leaving, I couldn't help but pop back to the gazebo hosting tastings for the food and drink competitions to see how it was all going.
Samples of steak and ale pie for tasting and judging.
My pie had been dished up for people to try and comment on.
Samples of steak and ale pie for judging
This man was quite happy to give me his point of view. In his opinion the pastry was lovely but the product lacked enough pepper. His comments were taken on board!!
Food tasting at Weedon Lois

So now we wait!
 On October 17th an awards dinner will be held in Northampton for all finalists to attend and the winners announced. Fingers now tightly crossed!

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