Sunday, November 20, 2011

Behind Closed Doors - Brian L. Porter, Author

Meat And Potato Pie
(Brian Porter & Character Albert Norris' favorite)  

  • 17 ½ oz lamb shin , cubed
  • 5 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion , peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots , peeled and sliced into cubes
  • 11 ¾ fl oz beef stock
  • 17 ½ oz potatoes , peeled, cubed, parboiled
  • 1 packet of short crust pastry
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 medium saucepan with lid
  • 1 oven proof dish
  • 1 knife
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 pastry brush
  1. Dust the meat.  Sprinkle some flour over the cubed meat and mix it well together with your hands.

  2. Fry the meat.  Place the pan on a medium heat and add the oil. Allow to warm through and once warm add the floured meat and onions. Stir it all together with a spoon and allow the meat to brown, which will roughly take 3-4 minutes.

  3. Cook the meat.  When the meat is nicely browned add the carrots. Then season with salt and pepper. Stir it all together and bring it to the boil. Stir once more and cover with the lid. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for roughly one hour until the meat is tender.

  4. Preheat the oven.  During the last fifteen minutes of cooking the meat, heat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade.

  5. Add potatoes.  Add the par boiled potatoes to the cooked meat and stir them in with your spoon.

  6. Transfer to oven proof dish.  Carefully pour the pan of meat into an oven proof dish, then smooth it over with your spoon.

  7. Cover with pastry.  Lay the pre rolled pastry over the dish and peel back the protective covering. Then continue to crimp down the pastry at the edges with your fingertips. Slice off any excess pastry and make several slits with your knife to help the pie breath. Then generously brush with the beaten egg wash to help it brown.

  8. Bake.  Place the pie in the bottom of the oven and bake for 40 min.

  9. Remove from oven & serve.  Remove from the oven when golden brown.

  10. Served with boiled potatoes, roast vegetables and thick gravy. 

Behind Closed Doors – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts

‘Men have met their maker as a result of the greed and avarice of those who would turn the people of this fair city into denizens of the underground world.  Be warned that their deaths will be avenged.’  It’s true that a number of workers were killed in accidents, mostly cave-in, during the excavations of the original, and some of the newer tunnels.  This could be valid threats from someone with revenge in mind against the company, perhaps a friend or relative of one of the dead men.  ‘God will not allow this fiendish contraption, this infernal machine of the devil to prosper.  We will bring about its ruination and force the Metropolitan Railway to cease its operations forthwith, in the name of The Almighty.’”

These are excerpts from letters written to the owners, demanding that the operation of the Metropolitan Railway be stopped.  They were brought to the attention of Inspector Albert (Bert) Norris and his sergeant Dylan Hillman as they are being told by their Superintendent about a murder that has taken place in the underground railway owned by The Metropolitan Railway Company.  The murder takes place on the same night that Jack the Ripper made one of his own famous Whitechapel kills.  Could they be related?  Bert’s superior says no.  He is being told, from those high up, that this is an entirely separate act that must be handled as quietly as possible to prevent bad publicity from damaging the railway company.  But as other murders occur, again on the same days of the Ripper murders, it becomes quite difficult to keep these events quiet.

Author Brian L. Porter has always kept me in the dark with the endings of his books, but in Behind Closed Doors, I had him.  I determined who the murderer was and had the courts ready to slip the noose around their neck by the middle of the book.  Well…he did it to me again.  I wasn’t totally wrong but I was nowhere near the real truth that would convict the real murder.  I’m afraid my case would have been thrown out of the courts.  So, the master of deception has tricked me again. 

As always, Porter’s characters are believable and so real.  His descriptions of the scenes place you in the middle of the action.  One thing I can say with enthusiasm is this, ‘Watch out Sherlock and Watson…Norris and Hillman are on the case.’ And boy are they good!

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, I love meat'n'tatty pie!

    I like Brian Porter's writing too.


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