On The Menu: Steak pie at the Pheasant Inn; SeeWoo's Chilli Oil; Morena bakery; Navarino olives; Element 29 vodka

 

This week I've been eating... Steak pie

You may be thinking: "But it's not really the weather for pies, what with the sun and all." To which I would reply: it depends on the pie. When good pastry comes together with a decent filling and a hot oven, it's a dish for all seasons.

At the Pheasant Inn in bucolic Higher Burwardsley, Cheshire, it has them down to an art.

My visit on Saturday was my third time there, in the dining room that looks out over the flat countryside to Welsh hills, and my third pastry-encrusted dinner.

This time it was steak (last time, chicken). With a prod of the fork the pastry gives way, collapsing into a shallow bay of gravy with its bobbing icebergs of steak.

The gravy is thick and rich but doesn't overwork the steak. The meat, cooked slow, flakes at the sight of a fork. They are happy in each other's arms. And I am exceedingly happy at the Pheasant Inn. thepheasantinn.co.uk

Hot stuffs

If there is one seasoning I wouldn't want to live without, it's chilli flakes. They're the most flexible of friends. You can use them for everything from perking up pizza to creating tongue-tickling marinades. I love them. However, a close second is SeeWoo's Chilli Oil. It comes in shrimp, scallop, anchovy, vegetarian and a very fine Szechuan flavour, which is the best of the bunch.

It's made by roasting and then simmering chilli, fish and spices. It can be used for all your spicy needs, whether that be for stir-fries, for adding zing to pasta or for dipping dim sum. £1.80, seewoo.com

Sweet and flour

Dulce de leche cookies, alfajores with hazelnut, caramelised apple crumble tart and passion fruit cheesecake – these are words I like. They are also things on sale at the newly-opened Morena bakery on Cheshire Street in east London. If cookies and cakes are not your thing, it also does a range of Paraguayan savouries (the birth place of the owner). So there is chipa, the bread made with tapioca starch and oodles of cheese, sopa paraguaya, mini cornbread loaves filled with beef and goats' cheese, and more empanadas than you could shake a fork at. morenabakery.co.uk

Taste odditys

Last weekend I found happiness in a jar of olives. Not the ordinary sort in brine or oil. These are prepared by Navarino and are quite sweet. They use a traditional Messinian recipe which calls for whole Kalamon olives to be stuffed with almonds and then boiled in a syrup composed of wine, orange juice, honey, herbs and spices. The result is sensational – sweet but not cloying. Place on a small mound of Greek yoghurt and you're in heaven £6, navarinoicons.com

Refill seekers

Producing a new glass spirit bottle produces, on average, 630g of CO2. It's a startling figure. So props to Element 29, the vodka maker, which now operates a bottle-refill system. Just take your empty Element bottle into Selfridges on Oxford Street and they'll fill it right up again.element29vodka.com

Twitter: @SAMuston

s.muston@independent.co.uk

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Ashdown Group: Print Designer - High Wycombe - Permanent £28K

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager

    £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager required for ...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator A...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones