It’s the 24th of September, it’s Friday and in one weeks time we go into October. That means that it’s time for a pie. Oh yes, a cosy, warm, filling Autumnal pie that will make your whole house smell of the long days of childhood spent cooking in the kitchen with your Nana.
Don’t be afraid of pies or pastry. They have been cooked by so many millions of people for so many years and it is only in the last generation or so that some of us have been de-skilled in the art of making pastry from scratch and filling it with hearty, meaty goodness. A pie is symbolic of time spent with family and friends in safety, comfort and love. And this pie is SCREAMING out to be made this weekend BY YOU!
So, get thee to the market after work to buy the ingreeds and wander down in to your kitchen tomorrow morning prepared to cook your heart out. Put the oven on, turn the radio up and wallow in the pie making experience. You’ll never be the same again.
Pre-heat your oven to 180c
For this recipe you will need a casserole dish or a dutch oven and a deep pie dish (I used an oval shaped pie dish that measured 10 x 8 x 3inch)
What you will need:
For the meat filling -
- 450g cubed free range stewing steak (the better the quality, the better the pie)
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 medium sized carrots
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne
- 1 heaped tsp Paprika
- 570 ml Boiling water
- 3 Oxo (stock) cubes – beef flavour
- 1 1/2 tblsp corn flour
- Salt and pepper
For the pastry -
- 300g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 130g salted butter (softened)
- pinch salt
- 2-3 tblsp water
- 1 egg (whisked for glazing)
For the pie filling:
- Peel and cut the carrots, sweet potato and onion. Chop them in to smallish pieces and add them to the casserole dish/dutch oven.
- Brown off the cubed meat in a frying pan with a little oil, this should only take 4-5 minutes.
- Add the meat to the casserole dish.
- Crumble 3 oxo (beef) cubes into 570ml of boiling water and then add the corn flour, stir together until it has all dissolved; the corn flour will thicken the stock to give a richer more rounded flavour when cooking your meat.
- Pour the stock over the meat and vegetables.
- Add the Paprika and the Cayenne and stir the contents of the casserole dish.
- Finally, add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.
- Put the lid on to the casserole dish and cook for two and a half hours or until the meat is tender.
For the pastry:
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the softened butter and a pinch of salt.
- Use your fingers tips to combine the flour and butter until the mixture resembles a fine bread crumb consistency.
- Add the the water a little at a time until the mixture sticks together to form a pastry dough but is not too sticky.
- Transfer the pastry dough onto a flat, well flowered surface and use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out flat; the pastry should be rolled big enough to cover the inside/sides of the pie dish.
- Transfer the beef and onion filling into the pie dish. Placing on top of the pastry.
- To create the lattice top on my pie I used a wooden wheel pastry cutter to cut my strips of pastry, but this could just as easily be done with a sharp knife.
- Once the pastry strips are cut, lay them over the top of the pie dish, pinching the sides shut so that pastry is sealed for baking.
- Finally, brush the top of the pie with one whisked egg for glazing. This will give the baked pie a delicious golden colour!
- Return to the the oven (at 180c) and bake for a further 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Serve piping hot with mash, veggies, steamed spinach or anything that takes your fancy.
- You may want to add more stock or gravy if you like a ‘wetter’ pie but I don’t like my pies and the pastry they are cooked in to be too soggy.
If it is still warm enough to eat outside in your part of the world then I urge you to do so. Grab a rug and carry the pie hot from the oven to the lawn and dig in with spoons. Who cares, nobody is watching!
I love you all very much and hope you have a really great and restful weekend.
See you on Monday!
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