16 November 2011

Steak and Stout Pie

Every year I make a pie for my friend Libby and her husband Ian. For the last two years it has been chicken pot pies, this year I decided to branch out and try Jamie Oliver's Kate and Will's Wedding Pie from his new cook book, Jamie's Great Britain.

It is not a quick recipe, it's easy enough to do but it does cook for two hours even before you put it in the oven for 45 minutes so make sure you have time for that. It was well worth the wait though. Absolutely delicious and one I will be making again.

Jamie Oliver's Kate and Wills's Wedding Pie

Serves 8-10

For the filling:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 knob butter
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
3 fresh bay leaves
3 medium red oinons, peeled
1 kg shin of beef, cut into 2.5cm dice and keep the bone
Sea salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons tomato puree
400ml good local smooth stout
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
1.5 litres (2 3/4 pints) organic beef or chicken stock
140g pearl barley
3 tsps English mustard
2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
100g good quality Cheddar cheese

For the pastry:
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g Atora shredded suet
100g butter
Sea salt
1 large free-range egg, beaten

You will need a large casserole-type pan - I used my large oval le creuset and the liquid was about 1cm from the top so you really need something big for this. You will also need a large pie dish or accept that you are going to have two pies! Get your beef shin from the butcher and ask to keep the bone - they'll dice it for you and you can just put it straight in... perfect. Also put 125ml water in a jug in the fridge to get cold for the pastry before you start.

1. Put the olive oil, butter and herbs into a large casserole on a high heat. Roughly chop and add the onions with the diced meat, the shin bone and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the tomato puree, stout, flour and stock and stir until everything comes together to a simmer. Turn the heat down low and put the lid on and let it cook for an hour stirring occasionally.

3. When the hour is up, stir in the pearl barley, put the lid back on and simmer for another hour. Then remove the lid and simmer for a further 30 minutes, or until the meat shreds easily and the gravy is thick.

4. Spoon away any oil from the top, then stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce and finely grate in the cheese. Season to taste.

5. While the stew is cooking, put the flour, suet and butter into a bowl with a good pinch of salt. Use your thumbs and forefingers to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles cornflake shapes. Lightly stir in 125ml of cold water and then use your hands to gently pat and push it together in a rough dough. Don't overwork it. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put in the fridge until it's needed.

6. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Discard the shin bone and ladle the hot stew into a pie dish.

7. Use some of the beaten egg to eggwash the edges of the dish then dust a clean surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out the pastry until about 1cm thick and a little bit bigger than your dish.

8. Carefully place on top of your pie and trim the overhanging edges - roll these into a ball for later. Pinch and squash the edges of the pastry to the dish. eggwash the top and then using the excess from the edges cut out a shape for the top if you wish - I used a cutter to cut two cows. Stick these on top of the pie and then eggwash them.

9. Cook the pie in the bottom of the hot oven for about 40-50 minutes until the pastry is golden. Serves with steamed, buttered vegetables.


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