Catholic Recipe: Steak and Oyster Pie
St. Bridget is the much-loved Irish saint from early Christian times whose feast day is celebrated on Frebruary 1. Originally this was the Celtic festival Imbolc celebrating the first day of spring and the beginning of the new year on the farm.
Bridget is portrayed as a warm-hearted, charismatic woman - a latter day liberated lady in the best sense of the word. She was influential, travelled widely, entertained with panache and was known for her kindness to people and animals.
Bridget is the patron saint of cattle and dairy work, and her cows are said to have produced more and better milk than any other herd. She is also reputed to have been the best mead and ale maker in Ireland. She also loved to cook - and like many saints she could feed the multitude with very little.
Whip up this hearty Steak and Oyster Pie to honor Ireland's St. Brigid.
1. Cut the beef into 1 1/2 inch cubes and season with salt and pepper.
2. Melt a little of the butter in a deep frying-pan and seal the meat over a high heat. Remove to a plate.
3. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes.
4. Add the flour, stir and cook for 1 minute, blend in stock, add the meat, bring to the boil, transfer to a casserole, cover and simmer on a low heat or cook in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/2-2 hours.
5. Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in the rest of the butter in a very hot pan, season with salt and pepper, keep aside. Open the oysters and put in a bowl with their juice.
6. When the meat is tender thicken the gravy slightly with roux if necessary. Add the mushrooms, oysters and their juice to the stew and taste for seasoning.
7. Allow to cool, put into a pie dish, cover with pastry, flute the edges and decorate the top. Brush with egg wash and cook in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the psatry is puffed and golden.Recipe Source: Festive Food of Ireland, The by Darina Allen, Kyle Cathie Limited, 1992