Lockdown Larder – Day 17

Leftover Steak & Ale Pie – with Gratin Dauphinois (thank you, Delia!)


Easy dinner tonight, with the remaining half of the Sublime Steak & Ale Pie from Friday. I reheated it in the oven (covered with foil) with a little water to reinvigorate the gravy. Then when it was hot, I removed the foil and allowed the pastry to crisp up. It was still as delicious as when first cooked. To go with it, I made Gratin Dauphinois, courtesy of the same cookery book as yesterday (Delia Smith’s Cookery Course Book 1). Thin slices of potato baked in a mixture of milk and cream, it was indulgent and a perfect side dish.

Recipe for Gratin Dauphinois: https://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/international/european/french/gratin-dauphinois

Delia’s Gratin Dauphinois
Leftover Steak & Ale pie with Gratin Dauphinois

I did some more baking too. First, I used the small remaining ball of flaky pastry dough, to make a tray full of Eccles Cakes. I followed Delia’s instructions precisely, but the little pastries seemed smaller than I remembered. It’s a long time since I had an Eccles Cake, but I’m sure they were bigger!




If you’ve never encountered this English delicacy, it originates from a town north of Manchester (Eccles). Imagine little round flaky pastries, stuffed with spiced-yet-sweet currants and a hint of orange. Son declared them to be like bite-sized mince pies (the Christmas variety, not the minced beef one). They were a labour of love to create. Quite apart from the pastry making (yesterday), I needed to roll out the dough to the right thickness (and even all over), then cut circles. Then I spooned some of the fruity mixture onto the centre, wet the edges with water, and pulled it together much like when making Chinese dumplings. Then… they need to be slightly-flattened and shaped into a circle, without the pastry tearing or the filling escaping. Still not done. Cuts need to be slashed into the top surface, before they are brushed with milk and sprinkled with castor sugar – and then baked until crisp. It took me over an hour this afternoon to produce just 10 little pastries, each of which was 2 bites in size.

Recipe for Eccles Cakes: https://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/international/european/british/traditional-lancashire-eccles-cakes


I also made a pan of chocolate brownie, using another packet mix I found in the larder. Why I bought a packet mix for brownie is still a mystery to me. This is one of my signature bakes. A sweet treat I can knock out in under 45 minutes, that I always have the ingredients for. Since I had the packet there, I thought I may as well try it. It smells like brownie, and looks like brownie. I’ll try some later (I’m still full from dinner).




The weekly groceries were delivered today, with almost everything I ordered. I’m just missing foil, cranberry sauce, and the green & kalamata olive mix. The strong plain flour was there, which means I can make fresh bread tomorrow 😊 Watch this space!


New Zealand is under Lockdown for at least four weeks. This blog intends to avoid the bad news about rising numbers of victims. It focuses instead on food, and the challenges of cooking fresh meals every day – with the ingredients from my larder. A much nicer message 😊

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