Sunday, 26 January 2014

cheddar, potato and onion pie - a random recipe

... I do love it when a random recipes challenge turns out beautifully... I find it hard to follow recipes and that's why I think the challenge works so well because it forces you to work with what you've selected and if you're ruthless about it, it can pay off in dividends... on occasion however I will sometimes stare at a recipe and think you must be kidding... as happened with this pie recipe taken from Dayelsford - A Love For Food the book I received for Christmas.  Firstly the measurement of flour they gave for pastry was so ridiculously huge it would have made me 14 pies, it was nearly a sack-full... secondly they suggested using 600g grated cheddar.  Now I am a cheese lover but that is a LOT of cheese... I halved this amount and even though I used exactly the suggested sized flan tin I still had to squeeze the ingredients in, so I can't imagine what i'd have done with the full 600g...

... fortunately the pie turned out superbly and was gorgeous both piping hot directly out of the oven and cold the next day from the fridge...

cheddar, potato and onion pie
I often say it but sometimes things just seem to fall in place so neatly in this blogging world of ours and as if by some kind of culinary magic I was recently sent some Pilgrims Choice cheddar to review... i'm quite lazy when it comes to 'basic' cheeses such as cheddar and double gloucester and tend to buy the supermarket-own variety but I do sometimes spoil myself with a little 'farmhouse' extra mature cheddar.  I favour a Davidstow as I love its texture and the fact that it doesn't make your eyes water and whilst i've seen Pilgrims Choice on the shelves I have never tried it... I adore cheese though so i'm more than willing to give it a try and their range of cheddars is quite extensive... in some kind of crazy attempt to make this pie slightly healthier I've used their extra-mature lighter cheese which has 30% less fat but really doesn't suffer in the taste department and melted beautifully in this pie.

for the filling
500g potatoes - cut into 2cm cubes
2 medium onions - chopped
300g cheddar cheese - coarsely grated (the original recipe called for 600g)
3 medium eggs

for the shortcrust pastry
330g plain flour
150g butter
1 egg - beaten
a pinch of salt
a little cold water to mix

you will need a flan case 25cm round and roughly 5cm deep - butter it liberally.

start with the pastry... I used my classic shortcrust pastry which i've used before in many a quiche but added a little egg... place the flour and butter in a large bowl and crumble together into breadcrumbs, then add the egg and a tablespoon of water and bring it together with a knife, it should start to form a dough at which point use your hands to bring it into a ball, add a little more water if you feel it's a little dry.  Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

next, place the potatoes into a pan with water and bring it to the simmer for 5 minutes, then add the onions and bring it to the boil for another 5 minutes, then drain and set aside

flour your work-surface, take 2 thirds of the pastry and roll out into a thin circle and gently lift into the flan dish, press into the flanges.

mix the cheese into the potatoes and onion and once stirred together pour into the flan, then roll out the remaining pasty and make a lid, pushing down the sides so they join with the edges of the pastry in the base of the dish, place the whole thing in the fridge for 30 mins.

pre-heat the oven to 170C and then take the pie directly from the fridge to the oven and bake for 40-50 mins or until the pastry is golden and the filling is piping hot

i've had some amazing entries so far and the round-up for random recipes will be here on my blog on the 29th January... you still have a couple of days to take part, the details for entry can be found here.

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. Cool pie! I used a similar recipe minus cheese as inspiration for my Haggis, Neeps and Tattie pie. Getting used to the out of focus header now, you were so right to go with your instincts and we would have missed your kitchen.

  2. That's a great pie, exactly the kind of pie I would make when choosing freely. Are you sure the double amount of cheese wouldn't have fitted in? :-)

  3. Goodness, that a A LOT of flour Dom in the original recipe! But what a fine looking winter warmer of a pie! Love the new header btw

  4. I'm not a fan of reduced-fat cheeses - they are usually too rubbery for my liking. Nevertheless, that looks like a pretty respectable pie, so maybe the cheese is better when it's melted. You do come across typos like the one you mention, in new books, far too frequently. Sometimes I wonder if they A) test the recipes, and B) proof-read them! Just think what sort of pastry a novice baker would have produced...

  5. It's a good job that you tweaked the recipe as there would be loads of mixture left. I love how the potato looks once the pie is cooked :-) x

  6. This is just the type of pie I would love to make. I've never made one like this but it reminds me of one I used to have at school that was actually quite good.

  7. It's a sign! I was daydreaming yesterday about how much I miss cheese & onion pies from back home. This looks amazing, and although I would have served the extra cheese as a snack on the side, just cutting the amount in half looks like it turned out for the best.

  8. Thanks Dom, I think you've just solved my problem of what to have for dinner tonight. But due to reduced bench space I think I will use the packet of posh pastry waiting in the freezer! I recently tasted some lower-fat cheese and it was vile, but I do have fond memories of Pilgrim's very tangy and tasty cheddar.

  9. The pie looks to die for. Cheese, potato and pie crust. What's not to love. I am always on the look out at the cheese shops for your Lincolnshire Poacher you so often post about. I hope one day I will find it.

  10. I think it is safe to say that reading this post before I have eaten breakfast has been a mistake. I hate to conjure up the picture, but I am like a drooling dog panting for some Chum!

  11. I adore cheese pies with onions and spuds in them, and this looks so tasty! I make a batch of my mum's cheese, onion and potato pasties regularly and they are gone in a flash! LOVELY recipe and a LUCKY random pick!

  12. I love cheese and onion pie and this looks like a splendid example! Would go down very quickly in this house I think.

  13. Looks fabulous. Can't wait to cook with you again on Wednesday. x

  14. That looks gorgeous!

    I think supermarket own brands of cheese can be quite good. Sainsbury's have a good selection.

  15. I hope 2014 proves to be a good year for you and yours!

  16. Dom,
    I’d like to introduce you to my SWAP.
    If you love to join in, please take a look to my blog.
    Hope to hear from you soon

  17. I have the Daylesford book and noticed with this recipe that there was stacks of filling, a barrow full of cheese and a flour mills worth of flour! Publishers need to send out books for testing prior to going to print.
    I'll try your amended version......the pie looks great.

  18. So glad you have rectified those ingredients. I do sometimes wonder if some recipes are tested! I have also come across this problem with knitting patterns, unfortunately I am not clever enough to fix knitting as easily as cooking. Great looking pie though.

  19. 600g of cheese?! Mmm but oh oh my! I was thinking last night what to make for mr ak's lunches next week and whilst pie isn't very transportable on the bike am thinking cheese and potato pasties ....we shall see! Looks fab anyway!

  20. This sounds lovely and really tasty. Thank you for sharing this.



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