Sunday, October 7, 2012

Beetroot, potato and cheese pie

The oven exploded last week. Faced with the reality of making hob only dinners (read: pasta) for a whole 5 days, I realised that I hadn't properly thought about what we eat for far too long.

Something has to give when you're looking after a toddler, working and trying to fit in freelance work whilst keeping everyone in clean clothes and dry cloth nappies in a flat which isn't a pit of filth. It can't be cleaning because we rent and we need our deposit back, it can't be work because I have important stuff we need to buy, so food it is then. We have been eating the same boring meals over and over and the child has bravely survived on tomato pasta, strawberries, cheese and tuna sandwiches for weeks.

But, it's now time for an Autumnal onslaught on our food habits so I flipped through some of my dusty, underused cookbooks for some inspiration. No boring pasta for a week, go!

Here's what I made yesterday: Beetroot, potato and cheese pie. It's easy and tasty, vegetarian for those inclined and the baby (who is increasingly fussy... this 1+ year old stuff is challenging) liked it too.

I have mediocre and begrudging beetroot associations from childhood. I can't eat the stuff straight from the pack but I can now handle it with other flavours. I've since discovered that it's cheap and makes a nice change so here is what I did, it's from the Cook, Eat, Smile Bills cookbook previously mentioned on my blog.

You will need 375g shortcrust pastry in a tart shaped tin... I made that by taking 8oz plain flour, 4oz butter, 3 tblsp cold water and etc etc... you know how to make pastry yea?

1 chopped onion
1 clove of garlic
200g peeled, sliced waxy potato
140ml double cream
140ml milk (I had to make up the cream with the milk because I only had about 80ml of cream left but it turned out fine.)
250g Beetroot chopped small. (If you're using raw beetroot instead of the precooked packet stuff you should grate it.)
175g Cheddar cheese, not pictured (Bill says you can use Stilton too and who am I to say you can't..?)
Some chives, still residing in the garden when the above picture was taken.
Feta or goats cheese for the top

First, prick and blind bake the pastry, which reminds me, I need to get hold of some baking beans because balancing teaspoons and biscuit cutters inside the greaseproof paper were not ideal.

Bake at 160 degrees for 15 minutes with baking beans in and then another 10 with them removed. Mine shrunk dramatically and looked a bit erratic but it still tasted nice.

Prepare your filling and ready your beetroot.

Fry the onion and garlic until soft, add sliced potato and then the milk and cream until it's bubbling nicely. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potato is cooked through. Keep stirring because it could stick and burn which would be rubbish. Take off the heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese and some of the chopped chives.

Now for the best part, add the beetroot and watch it turn into a Barbie pink culinary nightmare.

Put into the 'rustic' pastry case and put goat or feta cheese on top, with an extra sprinkling of chives.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 or until the cheese looks nicely done, then eat!

Especially nice with green beans. I was going to take some to work tomorrow but there is none left.


  1. Never cooked with beetroot, though it's so easy to grow. We used all ours in salady/pickly type things last year. Anything on pastry is good as far as I'm concerned though!

    1. This is so nice! With fresh beetroot it's even better. Just finished eating a delicious slice of birthday cake, thanks :) and M's painting is proudly on the fridge!


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