Cooking with Kō Shibasaki – My favourite Japanese actress….
Ko Shibasaki started her career at 14 when she was discovered by a talent scout. She is one of Japan’s top-tier actresses, having starred in many TV shows, films and commercials. Ko Shibasaki became famous for her excellent performance in the controversial film “Battle Royale”, which has brought her fame not only in Japan, but all over East Asia. Recent films also include “47 Ronin” and “Bolt out of the Blue”.
So in July, Ko Shibasaki’s European agent contacted me to help with the popular Japanese television program “Another Sky”, the task was to cook live on TV a traditional Maltese meat pie. This stunning pie was a fond memory of Ko Shibasaki’s during her days as a budding actress many years ago in Malta.
The show relived her journey visiting the places she frequented during those days and of course the beautiful Maltese cuisine. I was thrilled to help and quickly (with the help of my lovely neighbour Josephine) identified the correct recipe for this task, a traditional Maltese spiced beef pie, packed full of vegetables and encased in a beautiful rich shortcrust pastry.
Filmed live in my kitchen on a very, very hot summer’s day, Ko Shibasaki and I cooked from scratch this delicious meat pie. Ko Shibasaki was determined to learn every detail to ensure it was exactly right. Once baked, all the cast and crew enjoyed this delicious pie together around the dining table.
It’s not often that you would hear of a leading actress cooking for all the cast and crew, I found this so refreshing…Ko Shibasaki is a truly grounded and delightful person, and a true champion of her beautiful country.
Ahhh…. just another magic moment in my kitchen!!
The recipe can be downloaded from my previous blog here and I have been told the video of the live show will arrive soon.
Enjoy your day and never pass an opportunity to create magic in your kitchen.
Blessed are the pie makers too.
Traditional Maltese Meat Pie
This delicious hearty Maltese Meat Pie is a family favourite for many families in Malta. The pie is rich in flavour and is especially appreciated in the colder months of the year. This is also a favourite recipe of a very famous lady who flew all the way from Japan to learn how to cook it. More details about this coming later in the year, but for now we hope you enjoy cooking it and please send us your feedback or any questions.
600g of lean good quality minced beef (choose your own cut from your butcher and ask them to mince it)
1 Cup of Marsala Wine
1.5 teaspoons of Mixed Spice
1.5 teaspoons of medium curry powder
1 Cup of diced onion
1 Cup of diced carrot
1 Cup of diced potato
1 Cup of peas ( frozen are fine if you can not get fresh peas)
4 Tbsp of tomato paste (Maltese traditional Kunserva is the best)
1 Cup of beef or chicken stock (you can use a stock cube in 1 cup of water)
Season with salt to taste while cooking
Rich Shortcrust Pastry ( you can buy store bought pastry, but use a good quality one)
1.5 Cups of Plain strong flour
180g of unsalted butter (please use good quality butter not margarines)
2 Tbsp of iced water
1 egg yolk
1 squeeze of lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
1 beaten egg (for glazing pie)
Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4 or to 200C or 350F
Sift the flour and salt ensuring maximum air enters the flour, cube the butter and add it to the flour, let the flour coat each piece of butter then carefully rub the butter with your fingertips until the flour resembles breadcrumbs. In a small bowl add the egg yolk, water and lemon juice and whisk. Add the wet mixture to the flour. Gently knead the dough until all the ingredients are incorporated, the dough should come away from the side of the bowl and not be sticky, if it is too runny add a little more sifted flour 1 table spoon at a time until you get a soft light pastry. Put the pastry to rest in a zip lock bag in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Place two frying pans on the hob. On a high heat add a little butter to the pan and brown the beef. Make sure any juice is drained or cooked off. Set the beef aside. In the other pan add a little butter to the pan and fry off the onion until golden then add the Marsala Wine. Allow to reduce down and evaporate the alcohol, once reduced add the beef back into the pan and add the mixed spice and curry powder, cook a little further so the spices incorporate well into the meat. Add all the vegetables tomato paste and beef or chicken stock and allow to cook until the pie filling is rich and saucy ensure the mixture is not thin or too runny.
Take your rich shortcrust pastry out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to cover the bottom of a 23 – 25cm pie dish. Ensure you leave enough dough to cover the pie and make your Maltese cross on top. Once you have lined your pie dish with the pastry fill the pie dish to the top with the pie filling. Roll out remaining pastry to cover the pie and decorate with the Maltese Cross. Pierce the top of the pie to allow air to escape brush egg glaze before cooking in the oven for a further 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Once cooked take out of oven and allow to cool slightly before serving with some creamy mashed potato or green salad.
A big thank you to our wonderful neighbour Josephine for sharing her families recipe with us in Julesy’s Kitchen. I am sure everyone will add this as a favourite to share with all your family and friends.