So you’re going to have to forgive me for that mouthful of a name, but you have to believe me when I say that this was a surprise hit. I heard of this recipe from a great chef that I admire, one who was the head chef of a famous abbey that had to deal with hungry archers, and swordsmen, and abbots, and friars, and children on a daily basis—so yes, a hearty and tasty pie like this was quite, quite popular. And it is a nice way of getting those pesky little
brats dibbuns to eat their veggies while they sit in a tender crust and are covered in a heady mixture of cheeses.
Oh and, by the way, I learned this recipe from a talking mouse so uh.
Now you know it’s good.
For those of you who are not familiar with Brian Jacque’s Redwall series (And why aren’t you? It’s like—like childhood QAQ ), it is a long-running series that chronicles the struggles of Good Beasts and Vermin, and the ultimate victory of good over evil. So it get’s a little repetitive, but overall? It’s a good series for the beginning reader, with memorable and loveable characters and—believe it or not—lot’s of memorable descriptions of food.
Mention Redwall and what comes to mind besides the flashing sword of Martin the Warrior? How about the feasts: cauldrons of shrimp and hotroot soup stirred by brawny otter-maids, cakes upon cakes piled high only to be snatched by
little rats dibbuns, and the generous cups of ale and all sorts of goodies. Seriously, pick up a Redwall book and try not to drool; Brian Jacques was a master at weaving delicious heroic tales and hearty foods, and I assure you that my copies have such moments where the characters stopped for some vittles dog-eared and book-marked.
And since Brian Jacques had such talent in whipping up tempting food descriptions, fans have worked hard to recreate his dishes and inspired the late author to create his own official cookbook to accompany his books!
Now as much as I want to get my grubby little paws—I mean hands—on the official Redwall Cookbook, I must hand it to the fandom for their own creativity and ingenuity in sticking to as close to the books as possible to create their own memorable versions of the dishes we’ve come to love and fantasize about. I can see the obvious British influences in some of the Redwall dishes myself, especially in hearty pies like this one loaded to the brim with intricate layers of potatoes, turnips, and beets; it’s then crowned in a lovely cheesy crust that is loaded with gruyere and—a personal favorite of mine—slices of chevre.
OF COURSE, to try and make sure that it is as “authentic” as it could be, I invited a few Redwall aficionados to taste-test the recipe and to see if I could do any good Mouse and Mole proud with my human interpretation.
And well – you’ll see the results soon enough!
For the crust:
1 instant pie crust – okay, okay, I should have made one but uh… I wanted to make a blueberry pie too! So it was kind of a good deal, use instant pie-crust for a deep-dish pie AND for blueberry pie for dessert.
Stop judging me *Sob*
For the filling:
About 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and peeled, then cut into thin discs
1-2 turnips, scrubbed and peeled, then cut into thin discs; I actually regretted only having one turnip, I recommend more than one turnip, seriously, it’s quite good
4 beets – okay I know what you’re thinking: Ew beets. No. Not eww. This is going to be delicious and very, very good for you. Do note, though, that beets stain everything so uh, be warned. This too needs to be cleaned and peeled, and then cut into discs as thinly as possible!
Some salt and pepper
For the cheesy-delicious-crust:
½ Cup sour cream
½ onion diced finely
Gruyere and chevre cheese
First, working with your instant cook pie crust, lay it into your pan and bake it in the oven according to the package instructions for no more than ten minutes; you want to cook the shell for just a bit before you put the filling in and bake it for an hour or so. Once it’s done, set it to the side to cool and prepare the rest of your filling.
So since we’ll be cutting, cooking, and mixing, go ahead and crank your oven to 375 and get ready to work!
Now uh I was supposed to take pictures of the whole process of peeling and cutting the beets and the turnips because it’s not something that everyone works with. But I got distracted by this potato because it reminded me of a Behelit so I flew into a rage and promptly shred that thing to pieces and subsequently thought: Man I got to peel all of these things before they all start looking like the demonic keys to the Abyss.
So I cleaned and peeled and cut them all, and when the massacre was over and my hands were covered in the blood-red of beet juice… Then I realized that woops I forgot to take some demo pictures of a very important process sooooo.
Once you have all your ‘nips and ‘taters and beets ready, go ahead and grab a pot, fill it up with water, and wait for it to reach a boil. You can salt the water a bit, too for our next step in the procedure, which is to parboil these veggies. Now here’s some more information about parboiling, but basically we want to cook these vegetables just so that they are tender; they’re going to continue cooking in the pie, but this way we can ensure that they’re nice and tender!
Anyhow, parboil your roots in batches, starting with your potatoes, then your turnips, then your beets, and then drain them. DO NOT DUNK INTO COLD WATER, we are parboiling, not blanching these guys, so don’t shock them with instant cold, just let them drain in a pasta strainer.
While they’re draining, go ahead and start on the cheese mixture: simply pour in your sour cream, crack in your two eggs, and your very finely minced eggs, and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir that up, then add in your cheese: I happen to love gruyere and chevre so I might have gotten kind of maybe overboard when I did it. As in, I did not measure out exactly how much cheese I added in except for how much would make me happy; but grate as much cheese as you see fit!
Once the cheese sauce is ready, it is now time to start layering your vegetables into the pie. Start first with a layer of potatoes and some salt and pepper, followed by a generous layer of beets with some salt and pepper, then the turnips with—wait for it—some salt and pepper. Continue with this procedure until all of the ingredients are used up, then lather on the cheese mixture, spreading it out to the edge. If you have more gruyere cheese feel free to grate more right on top cause a little more can’t hurt.
Then, pop this baby in a 375 degree oven for fifty minutes to one hour; it might need more time depending on how deep the pie is, but when the cheese topping looks set it’s done.
Finally, set it out in a place to cool down a bit, right when a hungry pack of guests come scrambling into your room.
And voila~ a hearty but relatively healthy pie!
Now the only real question is… Does it meet to Redwall fan standards? Well, after serving our friend, silverwolf, a slice, he promptly wolfed it all down, sat back… And then leapt up on his chair and released his inner Guo, I mean his inner Guosim and cried:
Another guest of mine, Saiiki, regaled me with a compliment that I think was nice in perfect Mole. But no one understands the Moles so uh, I just had to smile and nod. (An awkward nod)
Overall, I never received a more flattering compliment about my cooking. Seriously.