Beef, Stout and Oyster Hatties (or pies) served with refined mushy peas was the fifth course from our Medieval Christmas in July degustation dinner party. Many years ago, in the East End of London. pollution marred the oyster beds, and they were considered a poor mans food. I guess things have changed quite a bit since then.
The oysters were stuffed in pies called “Hatties”. That’s what they called pies before they were pies like we knew them today. They called them Hatties because they were made upside-down, and well, looked like a hat. There was a flat piece of pastry used for the base, and the filling was piled on top then another layer of pastry was used on the top to enclose the pie.
Can you imagine the resemblance to a hat? I do love a good pie.
We served this dish with an local Melbourne milk stout beer (Abbortsford Invalid Stout). An English Porter would also have been an excellent choice.
Medieval dinner – Beef, Stout and Oyster Hatties
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- 1 1/2 kg oyster blade steak
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 stick celery roughly sliced
- 2 Tablespoon Ketchup Manis sticky soy
- 250 g oyster mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon thyme chopped
- 2 small bay leaves
- 800 g beef stock
- stout Guinness or Waynes (hubby’s) milk stout in this case 1/2 bottle
- 80 g butter
- 60 g plain flour
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil evoo for frying
- 16 fresher shucked oysters
- Lard pastry
- 180 g cold water
- 200 g plain flour
- 200 g self-raising flour
- 50 g lard
- 150 g butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat a little olive oil in a large heavy-based saute pan, season the oyster blade and then seal on all sides, cooking the meat in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
- In a separate pan or after you’ve finished the meat, caramelize the chopped onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms.
- Add the beef to the vegetables, add the flour and stir for a few minutes until the flour is well distributed, then add the stout. Lastly, add the sticky soy. Pop a lid on and put into the oven at 180C for two hours. Use the stock if you feel that it needs to be moistened further, or add during the cooking if it becomes too dry.
- Once cooked leave the mixture to cool completely (overnight would be best) before you start making the pies.
- To make Lard Pastry, combine flours and salt, rub in lard with your fingers till it is a fine crumb stage, or use a food processor. Slowly add water to bring it together, kneading for 2-3 Mins. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry and line small pie tins, (or make them hat-shaped) half fill with meat mixture, pop in 2 oysters per pie, fill with more meat mixture and then cover the meat with a pastry top. Cut a slit in the middle of the pastry top to let steam escape. Brush the pies with egg wash and into the oven for 15 minutes at 220C then turn the heat down to 200C for a further 10 minutes.