Here is my humble table so far today. It is a very small group because we are missing seven who celebrate without us in the UK and six (the Nate Wilsons) because of sickness. But luckily we are having six guests or we would be very hard up! Yes, I do like red….especially this time of year when it is gray outside. You can see that it is nothing fancy pants. Just fun. We have little wine glasses for the little kids (yes, they get a sip for the toast). And I bought some festive paper plates (pumpkins and whatnot) for dessert. I’ll probably sprinkle a few candy corns around Daphne and Lina’s plates, and I will send half a pie to the poor pitiful Wilsons!
And one more thing: the all-important apron. You simply must look snazzy while slaving away in the kitchen. You need not one, but an assortment, so you can pick an apron that matches your outfit, the season, and your mood. I might sip some wine while I cook, but not unless it is after 5 PM. If I started sipping when I start cooking (which is often in the morning), my husband might be alarmed!
If you would like the recipe for Miner’s Camp Pie, here it is below. I do not use a throw-away pie pan for this, because you set the pie straight on the table looking beautiful for everyone to ahhh over. And it really requires a deep dish because the meat just mounds up beautifully (this is not a flat pie). If you have little leaf cookie cutters (or you may be able to free lance), they make nice decorations for the top of the pie. And do not be scared of the mushrooms. I have several non-mushroom eaters who love this pie even though it has mushrooms. So do not leave them out! I will post a picture later if my pies look photo-worthy. Otherwise, just imagine a couple of lovely golden pies on my cheery table.
4 T. butter
2 c. minced onions (my shortcut is to use frozen onions here)
8 oz. coarsely chopped mushrooms (I chop in my food processor)
2# lean ground beef, pork, or combo
1/4 c. dry red wine
2. slices white bread, crumbled
2 t. salt
1/2 black pepper
1/2 t. thyme
8 oz. cream cheese, diced
3/4 c. minced fresh parsley
2 c. flour
3 T. dried onion flakes
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. pepper
3.4 c. well-chilled butter, cut into 12 pieces
1 egg, beaten
4-6 T. ice water
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 t. water
In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over med-low heat. Add onions and cook until transparent, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and meat. Increase heat to high and stir until meat is no longer pink. Add wine and stir for about 8 minutes. Pour off remaining liquied. Stir in bread, salt, pepper and thyme. Blend in cream cheese and parsley. Cool to room temp. Can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temp before continuing.
To prepare the onion pastry: stir flour, onion flakes, salt, sugar, and pepper together in bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg and 2 T. water; blend until dough begins to stick together. Add remaining water a little at a time if dough is dry. This may be done in a food processor. Gather dough together. Divide into 2 balls, one of which is 2 inches in diameter. Flatten into discs. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.
Spoon meat into 10″ pie plate. Brush upper edge and outer rim of plate with glaze. On lightly foured surace, roll larger piece of onion pastry out into 12″ circle. Cut small hole in center. Place dough over filling, centering steam hole. Press overhanging dough firmly to edge of plate. Press tines of fork along rim. Roll out small dough ball until 1/4″ thick. Cut out decorative shapres (leaves are nice). Brush pie with glaze. Place decorations on crust, pressing gently. Brush again with glaze. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brouwn. Let the pie cool for ten minutes before serving.