Cold? Then get a pie on the go

A pie that’s not only yummy – the cook­ing of it keeps the boat warm for ages af­ter­wards

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin -

6 small new pota­toes, wal­nut sized

1 onion

2 toma­toes

4 rash­ers of sliced ba­con

Pack of short crust pas­try

Tea­spoon of mixed herbs

200g strong cheese

1 egg

I didn’t blame them. It was only 6° out­side with a fine driz­zle in the air. Sum­mer was an­cient history as this cold, damp morn­ing con­firmed. Ev­ery night for the past few weeks, my hot wa­ter bot­tle had kept me com­pany through the night. Brian the dog reg­u­larly crawled un­der the du­vet cover at about 3.30am, feel­ing the win­ter chill, too.

We are hardy souls though and the weather still isn’t cold enough for the Re­fleks oil stove to run 24/7. In­stead it’s the Cap­tain’s job to light it when he gets up to make the early morn­ing tea-in-bed. Once lit, the amaz­ing lit­tle Re­fleks soon fills the cabin with warmth and... if we fire up the great JP3 to heat the wa­ter and top up the bat­ter­ies, its huge iron body is like a mas­sive stor­age heater warm­ing the boat through­out the morn­ing.

Un­for­tu­nately, that day the tem­per­a­ture didn’t lift so I put a sim­ple pie on the menu know­ing that it would be well re­ceived by the Cap­tain and also that the oven would carry on heat­ing the boat For this par­tic­u­lar pie I used all the odd­ments in the fridge but ba­con, cheese and pota­toes are the main in­gre­di­ents. Wash the pota­toes leav­ing the skin on and slice them into thin slices. Place the slices into a pan of boil­ing wa­ter and bring to the boil for about five min­utes. Turn off the heat.

Into a fry­ing pan, finely slice an onion, four rash­ers of ba­con and a tea­spoon­ful of mixed herbs, fresh or dried. Fry to­gether un­til cooked. Ei­ther make or buy some short crust pas­try, cut it in half and roll out each half to cover the base of a china or Pyrex plate.

Check that the pota­toes are cooked. Drain a ta­ble­spoon­ful of wa­ter into the fry­ing pan and stir it around and then ar­range the pota­toes over the bot­tom of the pas­try. Add the fry­ing pan con­tents over the spuds, chop up the cheese and sprin­kle that over, too. Slice two toma­toes and spread over the top. un­til later in the day. This is a pie with a dif­fer­ence; it’s a flat pie rather than a deep one, called a ‘plate pie’ and – as the name im­plies – is cooked on a china or Pyrex plate. I serve it with a big scoop of hot mushy peas.

It’s de­li­cious but still the Cap­tain will ap­ply co­pi­ous dol­lops of brown sauce to his por­tion. Hea­then! It’s a vol­cano-shaped pie which, when you cut into it, gives lots of tasty fill­ing and for the two of us, any left­overs are a very tasty cold meal em­bel­lished with some baked beans which, of course, tick off an­other of our five a day.

‘This is a ‘plate pie’ and, as the name im­plies, is cooked on a china or Pyrex plate. I serve it with a big scoop of mushy peas’

Break an egg into a cup and whisk. Brush the bot­tom edges of the pas­try be­fore you add the top layer and use any of­f­cuts of pas­try to dec­o­rate the top. Make a large hole in the top for steam to es­cape and pour any left-over egg wash into this hole. Cook in a hot oven ( Gas Mark 7, 220c) for 30 to 40 min­utes un­til the pas­try is crisp and brown.

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