Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Most chefs these days seem to have what they call a “signature dish”. Usually these are elaborate concoctions made from exotic ingredients that normal cooks would not have easy access to. There is no doubt that it takes great skill, a lot of experience and knowledge to produce a “signature dish”.

For me, though it is equally creative to make something special out of ordinary ingredients. Taking a classic simple recipe and making it your own requires the same culinary skills that bless the so called masterchefs.

Meat and potato pie is a true British staple that countless housewives make during the winter months. In my sixty odd years I must have tasted scores of meat and potato pies. I can honestly say though that none have tasted better than the one that Dave’s mother made yesterday. That includes the ones that my Grandmother used to make - she was a real expert at this dish being blessed with the cold hands necessary to make good pastry.

Joan has clearly  practised this recipe countless times, honing down her skills with the dish until it has reached perfection. The wrong variety of potatoes, lesser quality meat even indifferent pastry would spoil the end result. Luckily, Joan got it right and the pie was as tasty as it looks in my photograph.

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