One Sad Pie


My first attempt at a pastry pie. 

I had concocted this romantic notion in my head.  I’d make a gorgeous filling, cover it with my perfectly rolled out pastry (ready bought), pop it in the oven and the next thing you know, a beautifully golden pork & mushroom pie would appear, as if by magic.  That’s how it always looks in the adverts anyway.

I can say, with confidence, that this has been my biggest cooking disaster yet.

The reason I’m posting about it though, is that I know where I went wrong and how it can be fixed!  Hindsight is a wonderful thing…

I adapted the recipe from BBC GoodFood’s “20 Minute Pork Panfry” for my filling (you can find the proper recipe for it here).  After reading some of the comments and tweaks by the others, I decided to go along with their suggestions.  This is where I went wrong.  There were suggestions to replace SOME of the stock with red/white wine vinegar, and others to replace HALF of the stock with red/white wine.  I replaced HALF of my stock with white wine vinegar and I tell you, I could hardly stand over the pan without my eyes watering.

I tried adding sugar to the dish, to cut through the acidity.  I added a bit more veg stock and a couple of bay leaves.  I even tried adding a tsp of mustard powder and some extra pepper.  It was still stinging the nostrils.  I was ready for putting it all in the bin, but goddamnit I wanted to make my pastry pie :( I stubbornly decided to follow it through.

There was a bit of pastry leftover, so I rolled it up and made a wee sad face to top the pie; a testament to my doomed mission.  As I put it in the oven, I started panicking.  My sister was coming over for dinner; we’d spoken at length about how AMAZING the pie was going to taste only hours earlier.  Mum was in the next room, with a rumbling tummy.  I was sure she could smell the vinegar perforating throughout the house.  I ran in and confessed all to her.  She told me that it was probably fine and just to go ahead and serve it up (she must have been famished).

My pastry slightly collapsed halfway through (I must not have rolled it out evenly, in my despair).  The sad face looked even more desolate; I almost felt bad for cutting it into pieces.  I served it with heaps of broccoli and cauliflower, and as I carried it to the table my conscience nagged at me… “how could you serve this to another human being?”

They both cleared their plates and ate the leftovers!  :O  Either they are extremely polite, or I am my own worst critic.

It was certainly less vinegary than I originally thought; there was only a hint of vinegar left by the time I’d mutilated it.  It was actually quite nice, but I’d never make it again the same way!

I think it’s another lesson that sometimes it’s better to follow the original recipe, rather than tweak it with flavours I’m not yet familiar with.  But, like everything in life, you learn from your mistakes!

What did I learn then?  Don’t put 150ml white wine vinegar into this dish.  It will remove the outer layer of your eyeballs.

My next pie will be a happy one, I promise! :)

It started out fine, when I put the pork, flour, rosemary, salt & pepper into the bag and tossed until well coated.

This is the offending filling…

Booooo :(

Surprisingly rather palatable :)


  1. hopeeternal

    The filling does look delicious in spite of your problems. I am so glad that in the end it was ‘rather palatable’ and as good as it looked: so not needing the sad face!
    Don’t be put off with adding vinegar in place of wine. I often do it if wine isn’t available, but I add a tablespoon or two just for the flavour rather than a large quantity – and make sure I taste as I go. You can always add more but never take it out (obvious, I know). I have a recipe for Pan-braised Chicken with Potatoes & Rosemary (not a pie, but could be a filling) in my ‘must post sometime soon’ pile where I have done just this.

  2. L'enfant Terrible


    Awww…I must say the end result looked yummy. And the pic of the pastry sitting there with a sad face was sooo sweet! As Mickey Rooney said, ‘You always pass failure on the way to success!’
    Keep up the good work 😉

  3. Janice

    Glad it worked out in the end. I once made a Mustard Rabbit recipe with ‘Dijon’ mustard, the mustard said Dijon on the jar, but it was so hot that you felt like the inside of your nostrils was being burnt off when you ate it! We threw it out in the end, it certainly taught me to taste things as I cook and I never had such a disaster again. I’m sure you will learn from your pie experience.

  4. Rhiannon

    You poor thing, there is nothing worse than ralzing your put something wrong into a dish (the number of times I’ve pt too much salt in something and had to serve it knowing i can’t fix it!). The pie looks great in the end,I’m glad your mum and sister ate it. I hope this doesn’t put you off pies!

  5. MaryMoh

    I can’t remember ever making a pie. Yours actually looks delicious but maybe with the wrong change of ingredients. So sorry to know that. When come to cooking disaster….I have lots! But…. just had to Keep Learning Keep Smiling 😀

    1. noblenourishment

      Thanks for your lovely comment Mary, I’m sure the pie would have been wonderful with the right balance of ingredients! I can’t imagine you having many cooking disasters, your dishes all look sublime! I shall indeed Keep Learning Keep Smiling 😀

  6. Wendy

    :-) Oh dear, I know I shouldn’t… but how I laughed at
    ” What did I learn then? Don’t put 150ml white wine vinegar into this dish. It will remove the outer layer of your eyeballs”

    That really brightened my day!
    You keep going with pies.. they are the ultimate comfort food and keeping some decent bought pastry in the freezer means you can always rustle up something delicious… even if it does involve vinegar!

  7. 5am Foodie

    I love your attitude, Catherine. Just go with it and don’t take it all too seriously. And who knows, in the end you just may end up with a new creation!

    Your vinegar experience reminds me of cooking meat in Adobo sauce – meat, loads of vinegar, paint gets stripped off walls from the fumes… but in the end you end up with really tender meat and a surprisingly good sauce.

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