Beef & Stout Pies
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp salt
.5 tsp black pepper
900 g / 2 lb boneless braising beef, cut into 2.5-cm/1-inch pieces
vegetable oil, for frying
300 ml / 10 fl oz meat stock
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
225 g / 8 oz chestnut mushrooms, stalks discarded, caps quartered
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
250 ml / 9 fl oz stout
450 g / 1 lb ready-made puff pastry
1 medium egg yolk, lightly beaten
- Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl, then toss the beef in the mixture until evenly coated.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add the beef, in batches, and cook, stirring frequently, until brown, then transfer to a flameproof casserole. Deglaze the pan with 4 tablespoons of the stock and add the liquid to the casserole.
- Heat 1–2 tablespoons of oil in the pan, add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 6–7 minutes until soft. Add to the casserole with the tomato purée, thyme, stout and remaining stock. Heat the casserole over a medium–high heat, bring to the boil, then gently simmer, partially covered, for 1½ hours. Check the seasoning.
- Drain the meat mixture in a sieve set over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Leave until cool. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Put a baking tray in the oven to heat.
- Divide the meat mixture between 4 x 400 ml/14 fl oz pie dishes with a flat rim or ovenproof bowls. Pour in enough of the liquid to not quite cover the filling. Dampen the rims of the pie dishes.
- Cut the pastry into quarters. Roll out each piece to about 2.5 cm/ 1 inch bigger than the dishes. Cut a 1-cm/½-inch strip from each quarter and press it onto a dampened rim. Brush with egg yolk, then drape the pastry quarter on top, covering the strip. Trim, crimp the edges with a fork and make three slashes down the middle.
- Decorate the tops with shapes cut from the trimmings. Brush with the remaining egg yolk.
- Place the pies on the preheated baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden.
The pie filling can be made up to 3 days in advance.
Lamb and Stout Pies
Use neck of lamb instead of beef.