Bacon, Cheese, Onion and Potato Open Pie

Bacon, Cheese, Onion and Potato Open Pie

The reason I’m calling this Bacon, Cheese, Onion and Potato Open Pie an open pie is purely due to baking the puff pastry disc separately. To eat this I placed the disc on the plate then heaped large spoonfuls of the casserole on top. So nice to have a little bit of pastry for a change. And although it may not look it the pastry was rolled out quite thin. As the Dijon mustard worked so well for me with the mustard tart I just had to go with the same idea. This is very loosely based, or should that be inspired, by an old English dish with a name something like Fidget or Fitchett Pie. It still exists in Shropshire where it has become fashionable again. There they use gammon rather than bacon and some use mash or, more traditionally shortcrust pastry to cover. As I had bacon, Brie and puff to use up I went for that combination instead (the lead-in photo has been updated where I’ve used Polish kabano sausages). Besides, I wasn’t sure about using Granny Smith cooking apples within the pie itself. Hence the easy to make chutney. As for adding bacon straight into a pie without pan-frying it first is an absolute no,no for me as that bacon would surely be incredibly soggy. Yuck!

Bacon, Cheese, Onion and Potato Open Pie, with home-made apple chutney

INGREDIENTS:

For the casserole:

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 x organic very low salt vegetable stock cube
  • 100ml (0.21 US pt lqd) x water
  • about 300g (10.58 oz) x white potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and sliced into discs (more potato may be needed according to size of casserole)
  • 1 x medium onion, top cut off, peeled and sliced into discs
  • 1 x garlic clove, trimmed, peeled and either crushed or finely chopped
  • single/light cream
  • 1/2 x bay leaf

For the pastry:

  • enough puff pastry to cover casserole. My disc measured approximately 14cm in diameter x 2 – 3mm in depth or 5½ in x 2/16 in
  • plain (all purpose) flour, for dusting surface
  • Dijon mustard, for spreading on top of the baked pastry
  • 2 x rashers streaky bacon, pan-fried until crisp
  • 2 – 3 x thick slices Brie, melted under a grill/broiler

For the apple chutney:

  • 1/2 x lemon, rolled under palms then squeeze into a nonreactive bowl through a sieve
  • 1 x medium Granny Smith cooking apple, about 190g (6.70 oz) before peeling, sliced into quarters, peeled and cored, cut into chunks and steeped in lemon juice
  • 2 – 3 x whole cloves
  • 100ml (0.21 US pt lqd) x water
  • up to 1½ x heaped teaspoons raw unrefined cane sugar, I used molasses, start off with less and add pinches more during the cooking process
  • up to 1 x heaped teaspoon soft brown sugar (use less to start, then add more)
  • pinch x dried sage – optional
  • 1 x prune, finely chopped – optional (I might use dates next time instead)
  • up to 1/3 x teaspoon cayenne pepper, start with less and add more
  • 1 x capful malt vinegar (balsamic would be a good sub)

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the casserole:

  • Prep the stock with the bay leaf and add a good glug of single/light cream.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6.
  • As potatoes are prepared layer them in an ovenproof dish or casserole. Then add a layer of onions. Add more potatoes, and more onions if needed but top with the potatoes. Sprinkle or spray the top layers of potatoes with oil. Pour in the stock but don’t cover the potatoes completely as they can bubble over and leave a mess in your oven. To prevent this place casserole on a baking tray.
  • Bake in an electric oven second shelf up for about 20 – 30 minutes, or until potatoes are nicely golden on top and the stock is bubbling.

For the puff pastry disc:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6.
  • Dust a very clean surface with a little flour before rolling the pastry. Roll out pasty to the thickness needed. I purposely kept mine thin as I can’t eat a lot of pastry with potatoes. Carefully transfer onto a lightly oiled baking tray and place on the second shelf up within an electric oven. Bake for 15 minutes, keeping an eye on how golden the top is turning out. Pale golden is preferable as the disc is going to be grilled/broiled at a later stage. Carefully remove from oven, using a fish slice turn over the disc to check how well the underside is. If it’s not fully cooked that side will have to be grilled first.
  • Pan-fry the bacon on electric heat No 2 in a shallow pan or skillet with a tiny bit of oil. Fry until nicely crisp and golden on both sides. Transfer to kitchen paper or towels and set aside.
  • When needed preheat grill broiler to the same temperature as stated for the oven. Place the pastry disc underside first if it needs to be further cooked. When ready carefully lift and turn over. Spread the Dijon mustard over the top surface and place under the grill only until the mustard starts to bubble slightly. Remove, add the bacon and thick slices of Brie. Return to the grill and cook until the cheese has melted.

For the apple chutney:

  • Squeeze the lemon juice through a fine sieve to collect any seeds and pith into a non reactive ceramic or plastic bowl.
  • As the apple is prepared place into the lemon juice as these apples will discolour quickly. Slice off any discolouration as you work.
  • Pour the water into a small saucepan. Put on heat No 3 and add the apples with the lemon juice. Sprinkle over some of the sugars, add the cloves and a pinch of both cayenne pepper and sage if using it. Stir often to prevent any scorching on base of pan. When chutney is near boiling point taste for the cloves. I had to remove and discard mine by that time as otherwise their flavour was going to overpower the others. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to No 1 or 2 and simmer until a jam like consistency is achieved. Take off heat and allow to cool slightly before tasting. Stir through half of the capful of malt vinegar, adding more to personal taste. Add pinches more of both sugars and cayenne, again to personal taste. Initially I thought I’d added too much cayenne yet that heat was necessary for the balance of this lunch as it is quite creamy and slightly heavy for my system.
  • Serve at room temperature.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


39 comments

          • I actually thought your photo looks great! Sorry, I wasn’t referring to your photo, if it came off that way. 😦
            In my experience with melted brie, they’re never photogenic. I did a crostini with melted brie on top and it didn’t look all that attractive.

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            • No! I knew you weren’t referring to the photo! I will be reshooting next week as I’ve found puff pastry in individual sheets, which is going to be easier to work with. I ended up chucking out about half of the block I’d bought. Besides, I’ve just bought kabanos sausages which are thin, spicy Polish sausages. Haven’t had them in ages. I think they’re going to taste even better. As I happen to like the recipe I really would prefer to have a decent photo. Really don’t like the styling!

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  1. Feel a bit like Pavlov’s dog – you have me every time at the mention of bacon… You even made bacon the first word in your post title. I’m drooling.

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  2. It is amazing how much thought and writing are invested in even the simplest recipe/dish we post. I am also referring to the preparation (including shopping) and photo taking involved. Consequently, I am extremely appreciative and have great respect for my fellow recipe posters.
    Very smart dish! Fae.

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    • Thanks for that. Yes, I agree with you. And it always amazes me when certain bloggers get such great step-by-step photos, too. Mine are usually too blurry to use.
      As for food, well I like to eat as healthily as possible. And that has to include a wide variety of food stuff. I just think that if you’re going to bother at all then do it well. Let’s face it, no one else is going to do it for me!

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    • I’m guessing this must be fairly typical of English Fayre. You know, apart from cheese I don’t know a lot about regional food. Maybe as I lived in London for so long I tried loads of differing cuisine, forgetting about how fab British food can be.

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    • It’s definitely interesting to try it. Quite rich for my system to have very often. Although I would make something like this for friends for a starter as I think it could be fun sharing the disc if made larger, the size of a pizza perhaps.

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  3. The weather is overcast for a change here in Denver, and I could definitely go for a big helping of this open pie (minus the bacon!). I’ve been nervous to try my hand at making homemade puff pastry. It’s sold frozen in the supermarket, but I suspect the homemade version is tastier. What’s your verdict?

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    • I’ve only ever made puff pastry once whilst going through catering college, or culinary school as I think you call it in the States. Never, ever again! It’s incredibly entailed and ridiculously time consuming. No, shop bought every time. Not that I eat pastry very often. It’s just fabulous with the Dijon mustard! Would never have thought of that as a pairing before. So love finding old cookery books for their inspiration.

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