24 October 2012

Beef, Stout and Anchovy Pie

It's that time of year again - pie night - where I make a pie for my friends Libby and Ian. I'm not even a huge fan of pie but they are fun to make, they take time but are very satisfying when they come out of the oven all golden and lovely. Last years pie was Steak and Stout and this years was a quicker, simpler (pregnancy) version courtesy of Rachel Allen's lovely book Bake. I say simpler, it was still time consuming but you can make it quicker by using puff or flaky pastry from the shop in place of the hot water crust pastry she recommends and I used here. I served this with baked potatoes and peas.

Beef, Stout and Anchovy Pie

Serves 4-6

For the pie: 
4tbsp olive oil
600g stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 2cm chunks
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g button mushrooms, cut into quarters
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
4 large cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
500ml beef or chicken stock
250ml bottle of stout
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
30g tin anchovies, drained
1 x quantity hot water crust pastry (see below)

For the pastry:
75g butter, cubed,
100ml water
225g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten

You will need 1 medium pie dish or 4-6 individual dishes, a large oven-proof casserole and a big mixing bowl and rolling pin for the pastry. Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.

1. Place a large ovenproof casserole over a medium heat. Add 2 tbsps of olive oil and the beef and cook until brown (do this in batches if necessary). Season with salt and pepper, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. You may need to tip some excess juices out, then add 1 more tbsp of olive oil and the mushrooms, season and cook until browned. Remove and set aside.

Chopped mushrooms
 3. Pour the last tbsp of olive oil into the casserole and add the onions and garlic. Toss these for 1 minute, then add the beef, mushrooms, stock and stout. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently on the hob or, as I did, into the preheated oven for 1-1½ hours or until the meat is tender. Depending on the meat, it may even take a bit longer.

4. Add the chopped tarragon and season to taste, but go slightly easy on the salt as you'll be adding anchovies later on. Allow to cool, while you make or prepare the pastry. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8.

5. To make the pastry: place the butter and water in a medium-sized saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts, then allow the mixture to come to a rolling boil.

 6. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg and stir it in to the flour slightly.

7. Pour the hot liquid into the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to mix.

8. Spread the mixture out on a large plate with a wooden spoon and allow to cool (about 15 mins), then remove the pastry from the plate (easiest done with a metal spatula) wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 mins until firm.

Pastry cooling on a plate
9.  Place the pie filling in the dish/s. Place 1-2 anchovies in each individual dish or all the anchovies in the large dish spaced apart from each other.

Pie filling in dish

10. Roll the pastry out, cut out rough lengths and stick these to the edge of the pie dish using egg or beaten water. Paste these strips with water or beaten egg and then add your pie top. Crimp the edges with your thumb and index fingers and add decoration of your choice (I use a cow cookie cutter as its a beef pie).

Pie pre-cooking
11. Cook in the oven for 10 mins before reducing the heat to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and cooking for a further 20-30 mins.


1 comment

  1. I love cooking with anchovies when and where possible - so this pie is right for this guy. It even adds to my daily intake of stout!


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