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Book of the Week Grandma’s Special Recipes

I was in the kitchen earlier trying to work out what to have for dinner, {I know I should have my menu plan done but I have neglected it lately} And the idea struck me that  I could do a Book of the Week as i have a huge collection of cookbooks in the bookshelf. Do you have a bookshelf of books that you just love? What are the ones that inspire you? Mine are from many and various places and people that have been in my life. Some I treasure because of who they are from.

I picked this particular book up in the post office one day, i think around mothers day last year actually. It’s one of those old fashioned ones that the recipes just speak of being back in Grandma’s kitchen, watching her with the apron on, and you assisting with the making of cakes and special treats.

“Special recipes with an extra dash of love. 

Nourishing, wholesome and good old-fashioned comfort food: That’s what you’ll find in Grandma’s Special Recipes.

Enjoy the company of family and friends as you cook up some old-time favourites. From simmering stews to succulent roasts and delightful desserts. Grandma’s Special Recipes will become a well-loved book you’ll want to add to your personal collection. 

This 192-page full-colour book features traditional recipes and includes step-by-step instructions and helpful hints from Grandma” 

For tonights recipe we have chosen.

I have included the recipe from the book and my easy recipe.


Prep time: 35 minutes + chilling

Total 2 hours 45 minutes

Serves 6


  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 kg chuck steak cubed
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tables spoons plain all purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups plain all purpose flour
  • 150g butter chilled and cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-4 tablespoons iced water
  • 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk to glaze


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan and brown the meat in batches. Remove all of the meat from the pan and set aside. Heat the remaining oil, then add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook over a medium heat until browned.
  2. Return all of the meat to the pan and stir in the flour. Cook for one minute, then remove from the heat and slowly stir in the beef stock, mixing the flour in well. Add the thyme leaves and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to the boil. Season to taste.
  3. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the meat is tender. During the last 15 minutes of cooking remove the lid to allow the liquid to reduce until very thick. Cool completely.
  4. To make the pastry: Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into    the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of iced water, and mix with a knife using a cutting action until the mixture comes together in beads, adding a little more water if necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gather together to form a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C divide the pastry into two pieces and roll out one of the pieces on a sheet of baking paper until large enough to line a 23cm pie dish. line the pie dish with the pastry. fill with cold fillings and roll out the remaining piece of pastry until large enough to to fully cover the dish. dampen the edges of the pastry with your fingers dipped in water, lay the top piece of pastry over the pie and gently press the bottom and top pieces of pastry together. trim the overhanging edges with a sharp knife and re-roll the trimmings to make deco ratings for the pie top.
  6. Cut a few slits in the top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape. Beat together the egg yolk and milk, brush it over the top of the pie. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

My version:

Because i left it so late and I’m not really one for spending too much time cooking here is the version i made.

  • Pre brought pastry – 1 sheet of puff for the top of the pie, and 1 sheet of shortcrust for the pie base. Defrost. (in hindsight i would you puff for both).
  • Mix in a saucepan on a low heat – diced steak, onion, garlic, carrot – chopped, a dash of white wine, worstershire sauce, beef stock (i mixed this with the wine no water added) and flour until thickened.
  • To bulk the pie up add sliced potato that has been par boiled in a saucepan and then add to the meat mixture.
  1. Line the pie dish with the shortcrust pastry, add a blackbird pie funnel to the middle and arrange the meat / potato mixture around it.
  2. Put a small slit into the middle of the puff pastry so it fits around the pie funnel and with a fork push the two pastries together.
  3. Place pie in oven on 180c until golden brown. Serve on its own or with chips, salad or vegetables.

Let me know if you make it, and what you thought. Or try making both and comparing the differences.

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