There are some traditions that you don’t mind breaking. Getting out of having to go to the office holiday party, for instance, would not break my heart. But some traditions you look forward to all year long. Our day-after-Thanksgiving tradition is one of those. Unfortunately, we missed it this year. In fact, we pretty much missed the entire holiday weekend thanks to a couple of nasty colds.
What should have happened was this: We wake up, happy as can be, and walk downtown to our favorite bagel shop. After eating toasted bagels dripping with butter, we meander around aimlessly, popping into a few stores like Borders and Apple. (Our downtown is sleepy and the standard Black Friday crowds do not flock there.) When we've had our fill of books and electronics, we do lunch and a little bar-hop to sample a few libations at various establishments. Some more meandering, maybe another hop or two, and we walk home to make our standard day-after-Thanksgiving dinner.
Well...here's what actually happened this year: We woke up, both feeling miserable, me without a voice, and coughed and sniffled our way through the morning. We got ready, hoping we could rally for our day. Finally, one of us suggested what the other was thinking: maybe going out was not the best idea. We then both promptly collapsed on the couch, which is where we've been since.
Typically, after my Thanksgiving cooking marathon, I don't feel much like being in the kitchen for a few days. This is when the convenience items make their appearance: Kraft mac 'n cheese, frozen pizza, canned soup, tater tots, etc. (Who am I kidding? Tater tots make regular appearances in this house, regardless of whether I'm tired of cooking or not.) But the one thing I will get back into the kitchen for after Thanksgiving is pasty. This year, it just happened a few days late.
Pasty (or pastie, depending on who you ask) is basically a meat and potato pie, and I am in love with it. It is a simple and homey dish and I have Andy to thank for introducing me to it.
When we first started dating, Andy announced that he would be making pasty one night. It is an old recipe passed down from his mom and very beloved to him. I was a little skeptical when he described it to me. Steak, potato, onion and a pie crust. The end. I made a few suggestions regarding additional ingredients which he did not accept. No, this was his dish, and I would be making no
improvements modifications. I watched as he diced the ingredients (and when he wasn't looking I threw in a little parsley anyway). What came out of the oven was fantastically delicious, and is now a fixture in my recipe box.
1 package deep-dish frozen pie crusts (2 shells)
1 - 1 1/2 pounds steak (trimmed of fat)
1 large yellow onion
1 pound potatoes, peeled (we use Yukons)
salt and pepper
handful of chopped parsley
Defrost pie crusts.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Chop potatoes and onion into a small dice. Cube the steak into similar size (a bit larger is fine). Mix it all together in a large bowl and stir in parsley. Season heavily with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture into one pie crust and place the other crust on top. Crimp the edges together and make a few slits on the top crust.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 90 minutes. (I use a pie crust shield once the crust is brown, and when the top is brown, cover the entire pie loosely with foil.)
The first time I ate this dish, I was shocked at how much I loved it. And even more surprising was how good it was with ketchup. I'm not a put-ketchup-on-everything type girl, but now I can't eat this without it. When I'm really craving pasty, nothing else will do. Obviously, there's not a whole lot to it...it's steak, onion and potato. But they're all cooked together in one happy package and the result is a tender, flavorful filling and a flaky crust. To us, this is the epitome of comfort food.
There are still times when I suggest modifying the recipe, but it's a half-hearted attempt. Even if Andy conceded, I don't think I would change the recipe. He was right...it doesn't need a thing. (But that parsley did give it a little needed color.)
So even though we're sick and several days late, this is one tradition I won't give up easily. Better late than never...
Due to my weeks of insane Thanksgiving testing/prepping craziness, I've continuously forgotten to thank some fellow bloggers. So...some long overdue thanks for some recent awards from Elisabeth @ Food and Thrift Finds, Annie @ Annie's Dish, Danielle @ Runs with Spatulas, and Sandra @ Sandra's Easy Cooking. I appreciate them all!