LJ's Steak and Mushroom Pie from The Private Matter

LJ's Steak and Mushroom Pie from The Private Matter

"Have you eaten, Johnny?" she asked, flipping the fan open again.

"No," he said, suddenly recalling that he was starving.  "I hadn't the chance."

"Well, then."  The Countess waved one of the footmen over, selected a small pie from his tray, and handed it to her son.  "Yes, I saw you talking to Lady Mumford.  Kind of you; the dear old thing dotes upon you."

Dear old thing.  Lady Mumford was possibly the Countess's senior by a year.  Grey mumbled a response, impeded by the pie.  It was steak with mushrooms, delectable in flaky pastry.

"Whatever were you talking to Joseph Trevelyan to intently about, though?" the Countess asked, raising her fan in farewell to the Misses Humber.  She turned to look at her son, and lifted one brow, then laughed.  "Why, you've gone quite red in the face, John -- one might think Mr. Trevelyan had made you some indecent proposal!"

"Ha ha," Grey said, thickly, and put the rest of the pie into his mouth.

Lord John and the Private Matter (Chapter 5 - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music))

Welcome to Lord John month on Outlander Kitchen!  Seeing as how LJ is constantly on the lookout for his one true Valentine, I thought February would be the perfect time to put my second favourite Englishman and his chow front and centre.

And while Herself goes to a great deal of trouble to describe some delectable food in his stories - like today's steak and mushroom pies - LJ himself rarely sits down long enough to truly enjoy any of it.

When you consider the amazing amount of tasks he accomplishes and the number of problems he solves in just one of his short stories or novellas, Lord John is probably the most 21st Century of all the Outlander characters, although I do have high hopes for Jem (if he ever gets out of that tunnel).  Imagine what either of them could do with a smart phone in their hand and a drive-thru at their disposal.

ingredients steak and mushroom pie

My last couple of weeks have left me almost as busy as LJ.  A small accident in the kitchen here, an unexpected writing assignment there.  It doesn't take much to put any of our already over-filled schedules over the edge these days, and this time it was my turn to juggle too many balls in too short a time.

Just like that, I found myself already behind, even though LJ month hadn't even begun.

What shortcuts do you take when you're short on time in the kitchen?  One of my cheats, from time to time, is a store-bought frozen pie crust.  After all, if you get the filling right, the pastry slides on by without too much notice.  I used a combination of frozen tart shells (in keeping with the small-sized pie that the Countess gave to LJ) and puff pastry, but you can also  make one big pie with two deep-dish pie shells, or, easiest of all, bake the filling in ceramic ramekins with puff pastry tops.

And if you prefer to make your pastry?  Kudos to you!  Check the notes below the recipe for links to recipes from previous pies and pastries.

steak and mushroom pie

A good steak and mushroom pie starts with sirloin, a thick, dark beer and the fungus of your choice.

In this case, as chocolate and beef are a classic combination in more than one food culture, I selected a Chocolate Porter from a local craft brewery.  Check what dark porters or stouts are available in your area.  The best place to find a new, interesting beer (or bottle of wine, for that matter) is at a small, independent liquor store.  You might pay a little more, but the service is generally excellent, with knowledgeable staff who can point you in the right direction when it comes to food pairings.  In lieu of that, a Guinness is always a good choice.

To avoid over complicating things, I chose plain old button mushrooms, but shitake, oyster, porcini or morels would all be fabulous, and would lend your pies their very own distinctive personalities.

steak and mushroom pie

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