• Serves: 1
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Medium

Did you know from the 7th to the 13th of March, it’s British pie week? And there really are pies for every mood and occasion. But, beef and mushroom pie (with a little Guinness for good measure!) has to be my favourite savoury pie; –hearty, warming and irresistible!

For a long time I was scared of making my own pastry but follow a few simple rules and it really is ‘easy as pie’. Avoid handling the dough too much, chill it before use to allow the gluten to ‘relax’ and you really can’’t go wrong! This pie dough is fool-proof, easy and flaky and can be used to make both sweet and savoury pies. The recipe here makes twice as much as you will need, so save the rest to make another pie or freeze for later use (it will keep for up to 3 months wrapped in cling film and stored in a ziplock bag). Make the dough up a couple of days in advance and keep in the fridge until needed.

 

here's how it's done...

For the dough:

  • 315g plain flour
  • 115g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 100g cold vegetable shortening, cubed
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  • 1 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
  • 60ml ice-cold water (more, if needed)

Pie_crust_ingredients

For the filling:

  • 800g braising steak, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml hot beef stock (from a beef stock cube)
  • 240ml Guinness or other stout
  • 2 leeks, white part only, finely diced
  • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

Pie_filling_ingredients

 

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set oven temp: 200C/gas mark 6

here's how it's done...

  • 1

    For the dough:

    Put the flour, sugar, salt and thyme leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cubed butter and shortening and pulse briefly until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

    Mix the water and vinegar and add it gradually through the feeding tube while pulsing in short bursts until the dough forms clumps (you may not need to use all the water or you may need a touch more).

    step 1

  • 2

    Place a large piece of clingfilm on your worktop and tip the dough on it. Use the clingfilm to squeeze the dough into a rectangle and put in the fridge for an hour.

  • 3

    Dust your worktop with a little flour and roll the dough out to a long rectangle. Take one third of the pastry and fold towards the middle and fold the remaining third over the top to make three layers.

    Repeat the rolling out and folding 2 more times until the dough is elastic. Fold into thirds again, wrap in cling film and chill for another hour (or overnight) before using.

  • 1

    For the filling:

    Trim the beef of any large fat pieces. Season liberally with with salt and pepper. Add the flour and toss the meat to coat.

    Heat a little oil in a large frying pan. Fry the meat for a couple of minutes until nicely browned –in batches if necessary. Transfer the beef to a bowl and set aside

    Add a little stock to the pan and scrape at any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reserve the pan juices.

    step 2

  • 2

    Add the shallots and garlic to the pan with a little olive oil. Turn the heat down and fry for a few minutes until softened.

    Add the chopped leeks and fry for 4-5 minutes until softened.

    Add all the mushrooms to the frying pan and cook for a few minutes. Add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and stir.

    Return the beef and reserved pan juices to the pan. Add the stock and Guinness. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for an hour and a half until the liquid is reduced and meat is meltingly tender. Set aside to cool before using.

    step 3

  • 3

    For the pie:

    Divide the filling between two small, deep ramekins (or use one pie tin to make a 20cm pie). Don’t overfill, you want a small gap between the filling and pastry lid.

    Roll out your pastry to 5mm thick and cut out rounds large enough to cover your pie containers with a bit of an overhang. Brush the edges of the dishes with the egg wash, then place pastry lids on top.

    Use a fork to seal the edges of the pastry lids. Brush with the egg wash and pierce a couple of holes with a sharp knife for the steam to escape. Create little designs out of pastry if you like to decorate the top of the pies and don’’t forget to brush them with egg wash.

    step 4

  • 4

    Bake on top of a baking tray to catch any spillage for about 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling has started to bubble. Cool for ten minutes before serving.

    Pie_final_1

 

By Lucy Parissi on 23.02.15

Guest Contributor

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