The blog awards are on next Saturday night in Cork, I missed them last year and I think I’m going to miss them again this year. Saturday night is never a good night for me, I can’t remember the last time I was out on a Saturday night as the whole family are working between the 3 businesses as it’s the busiest night of the week so there are no babysitter’s available, the joys of the food industry, weekends are always out!  It would be great to meet all the other great Irish bloggers and I feel I really should be there because I won best food blog last year so if I can nab a babysitter before Saturday I’ll put on the “glad rags” and show face.

Bord Bia are sponsoring the best food blog category this year which is great to see, as it shows that blogs are really being acknowledged now and becoming more mainstream. It’s amazing how many people still haven’t heard of a blog here, most people look at me very confused when I tell them I have a food blog. I was thrilled in January that I had over 1o,ooo hits but I couldn’t believe when visiting this blog recently that she had over 20,000 comments on one post  for a competition for “kitchen aids”, how many hits does she get in a month? I know Smitten Kitchen gets over a million a month – WOW!!!

Anyway I’m happy with my little blog and was even happier with this pie the other night, it was absolutely delicious, rich, homely and comforting, perfect winter food! As usual it’s very simple to make but it does require time, when using a cheaper cut of beef the best way to cook it is to let it simmer for 1 -2 hours. The end result is very tender meat so it’s worth it. I put it on in the morning at 9.30 before I went to work and then made the pie that night or you could leave the meat simmer away in the evening  while watching the t.v. and then make the pie the next day if you are stuck for time.

what you need:

1 kg stewing beef – I used beef shoulder from my local butcher Jim Flavin.

1 small onion finely diced

1 garlic clove finely diced

2 sprigs thyme

3-4 sage leaves

1 – 2 sprigs rosemary

200ml red wine

500ml beef stock ( I only used about 300ml)

350g puff pastry

250g mushrooms diced

egg beaten

plain flour

olive oil

25g butter

1 – 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

sea salt and black pepper

what to do:

dust your beef in flour, heat some oil in a pot and add your beef in batches:













cook your beef over a high heat until browned all over:













remove your beef when cooked, add more oil, your butter, onions and garlic to the pot and cook over a medium heat for about 10 mins until soft but not coloured:














chop your herbs:














add to your onions, cook for a couple of minutes and then add your beef back to your pot:














season well and add your wine:














add your Worcestershire sauce and about 300ml of stock, cover and leave to simmer over a low heat for about 1 and 1/2 to 2  hours, add your sliced mushrooms about 10 minutes before the end, if your sauce dries out just add more stock:














when the mix is ready spoon the filling into a pie dish and roll out your pastry:















lay your pastry over the top, press down the edges, score the top with a sharp knife, brush all over with your beaten egg:














cook until golden brown and crisp:



















and serve with a side of peas:













buon appetito!