Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Sneak Preview

One week today is St Patrick's Day. I've had this date rattling round in my brain for at least the last month, because, obviously, a special pie will be required for it. And I've thought about what this pie should be, but never actually got round to doing anything about it.

What I thought was, it should be a steak and Guinness pie. Irish stew would have been nice, but the traditional version of that is pretty damn runny and just wouldn't work in a pie - the pastry would dissolve before you got a chance to eat it. No, the good ole steak 'n' Guinness, but with a green pastry shamrock on the top (pretty much the whole planet agrees that a whole pie made out of green pastry would be somewhat unpalatable).

Food colouring is fairly hard to come by in Madrid - the only colour stocked in supermarkets is orange - tartrazine, the stuff that makes kids hyperactive. So I thought I would make my own by boiling up some spinach and peas and freeze-thaw gelatine-filtering it. This takes several days, and when I looked at the result it looked like the wee-wee of someone who isn't very well. I made up some pastry with it anyway, but the result just looked mouldy. Grr.

A trip into town was required, to Manuel Riesgo, the chemicals shop. I got the colouring and a couple of other things to play with in my molecular adventures. When I got home, I opened the container and was fairly disappointed to see this tub of brown powder. I chucked a load into a glass of water, and *kshing!* it was green. Oh boy, how green was it? Greener than all the valleys on the planet, I reckon.

I made up some pastry with it, rolled it very thin and froze it, and then cut out shamrock shapes. Here's the result:

Pretty good, methinks.


Mme Cyn said...

Looks luscious!

nzm said...


I haven't had the chance to tell you, but we pigged out on your pies that you brought to us in Barcelona, and they were delicious.

My fave was the Beef Bourguignon, followed by the Pork or the Leek and Potato.

Jen's parents and Jen also really loved them - and the Europeans (at least, these Germans) aren't big pie eaters.

Simon B said...

Quality, Keefie!

Tumbit.com said...

All that trouble for green food colouring - I admire your persistence and ingenuity

Ashleigh said...

Looks delish! The green shamrock definitely makes it! I found your blog over on Sangria, Sol y Siesta. I write a blog about my family's life in Spain...So glad to find another expat blog about Spain. I look forward to following yours...

Erin Parker said...

oh my goodness. i just read 5 of your posts and was crying i was laughing so hard. i'm a fellow blogger coming to madrid soon. we need to go for a beer!