You have just spend the whole night out with friends, jumping from club to club taking advantage of the drinks specials and DJ slots and you find yourself now, drunk, hungry and on the streets. What do you do?
What we used to do is head to the nearest petrol station, or get the sober person to drive us to 1 of 2 specific petrol stations, and buy a pie. Crispy, flakey pastry tumbling down your carefully scaffolded ‘free drinks’ cleavage, super heated filling burning your tongue, the right mix of carbs, fats and sodium to end a night of over indulgence.
Over the years, as I got older and more homely, the nights out drinking until 2 am faded away but the craving for these pies still lingered. It was easy enough to get my hands on one at the same petrol station I would visit in my youth or a close enough proximate at the grocery store.
That was when I lived in Cape Town
Now, living in Berlin, this is a craving I have often had to ignore. Now and again I have found places that made something similar and there are even a few resourceful South Africans living here who are making and selling these delicacies to the general public but I wanted to try make them myself, so I could get as close as possible to the taste I remembered so clearly through the haze of vodka, lime, lemonade.
My first mission was to choose the kind of pie I wanted to duplicate. I was never really a fan of peppersteak or steak and kidney. Plain steak was an option but in the end I went with the firm favourite of chicken and mushroom. TheHusband is a huge fan of that combo and has it whenever he can and I like making TheHusband happy so…
The hunt for pie dishes began
I really wanted to buy these dishes in a shop, not online. Thing is, non-recyclable, single use bakeware is justifiably very hard to come buy here (unless it’s used for braaing) so my mission failed and Amazon came to the rescue.
Next part was finding the time. I had all the ingredients, the pie tins and recipe I wanted to use but I had to find the time. This recipe is not difficult or complicated but it does require time. The filling needs to simmer and thicken over time to build the flavours and then needs to cool completely before being put into the pie casings.
Building the pie was also a bit fiddly and not something that could be rushed. I had to wait for the perfect moment, when everything alligned and I had:
1. A clean kitchen
2. No children demanding my attention
3. Enought time for it all.
I ended up doing this over 2 day, it just meant less stress for me and guaranteed that the filling was completely cool.
Did you have a favourite post party treat?
Chicken and Mushroom Pie
- Large pan or wok
- cooking spoon
- pie tins
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 punnets chicken pieces or 2 chicken breasts, chopped
- 2 punnets mushrooms sliced
- 1 tbs chicken stock powder
- 1 tsp herbs de Provence
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup water
- 1 packet Knorr champinion sauce
- 1/2 tub cream
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 sheets puff pastry defrosted but cold
- 1 egg white whisked with a dash of water
For the filling
- On a medium high heat, fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil until they just start to brown
- Add the chicken and fry until brown.
- Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown.
- Add the stock powder, herbs, seasoning and water, stir well and allow to come to the boil.
- Turn the heat down so that the mixture simmers for about 30 minutes until the liquid reduces by half.
- Add the Knorr powder and stir well, cook for 10 minutes
- Add the cream and cook for a further 20 minutes
- Add butter and remove from the heat. Stir well.
- Taste to check seasoning.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Measure and cut your pastry accordingly.
- Fill your dish and cap with pastry (I put pastry top and bottom).
- Preheat oven to 200°C(180°C if fan forced).
- Brush the pastry with the egg wash and make a small hole in the centre to let out steam.
- Bake until puffed and golden.