When I say it wasn't a success, it wasn't that no one liked it, because it was eaten and enjoyed. But I wasn't sure the time and effort it took was worth the result. Although as I discovered the next day, it tastes much nicer when it's cold.
(This recipe is from Jamie Oliver's book Ministry of Food.)
Firstly fry all the chopped vegetables in a large frying pan, in a little olive oil. Add a generous handful of frozen peas - or sweetcorn, which is what I used. Put them in a large bowl and allow to cool.
Add minced beef, egg, salt and pepper; and I also added a couple of shakes of Worcestershire sauce because I couldn't see how this wasn't going to turn out to be very bland otherwise!
Roll out the pastry to the size of a small tea towel (according to JO) or if you've got the ready-rolled pastry, defrost 4 or so slices.
Shape meat mixture into a sausage shape - or if you've got the square pastry, it's going to be several sausage shapes. Put the 'sausage' at one end and roll it all up. (If you have a tea towel-shaped bit of pastry, place it along the long edge.)
...and then seal the ends. I used egg along the edges, but in the end I decided I would have been better with no 'glue' as the pastry was quite gummy already and the egg was making things more slippery.
Put them on a baking tray, brush with egg and cook at 180 C for an hour. In the photos in the book, there are no slits cut in the top to let out steam, but I thought it was better to have them.
The cooked pies aren't very pretty! There was quite a lot of leaking out of the holes. But they got eaten up, with tomato sauce, and were quite filling.
I suppose my problem with this is that the filling was a little bland (I know I didn't follow the recipe exactly but I don't think that would have made a lot of difference) but then I'm not a big fan of meat pie in any form - I find they often have an unappetising 'steamy' flavour - so maybe that's why it didn't appeal to me much.
Part of one of the long 'wellingtons' was left over, and I kept it in the fridge overnight. We ate it at lunch time, and it was actually *much* nicer cold. So I would suggest this would make a good lunch dish or picnic food, cooked the day before.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 potato, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 large flat mushrooms, finely chopped (I left this out)
2 cloves garlic, minced/grated - I chopped mine finely
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped (I used one sprig)
a big handful frozen peas (I used frozen corn)
1 large egg, beaten
500g good quality minced beef
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g puff pastry, or 4 or 5 sheets of ready-rolled