It’s November, it may be raining and the evenings cold and dark, but don’t fret as this just means it’s time to get cosy with some simple warming dishes that will keep those winter blues at bay. Warm up with this piping hot pie made with classic Autumnal and Wintry ingredients including shallots, steak and mushroom – with thanks to UK Shallots.
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
For the pastry
280g plain flour
1 ½ large eggs, beaten
For the filling
500g shoulder steak, trimmed and cut into 2cm cubes (or larger)
25g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of paprika
I tbsp sunflower oil
100g streaky bacon in one piece, cut into lardons (short strips and approx. 5 mm thick)
200g chestnut mushrooms, halved
200ml red wine
200ml beef stock
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
To make the pastry, rub the butter, flour and a pinch of salt together in a mixing bowl until the mixture has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and bring it all together into a dough. Knead this lightly 3 or 4 times with floured hands. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for an hour before use.
Take the shallots and pop into a pan of cold water. Bring the pan to the simmer and gently cook the shallots for about one and a half minutes. This will make the shallots easier to peel and assist the cooking. Peel off the skin without cutting the ends of the shallots off. Lightly shave of any remaining root fibres but do not cut into the shallot at all.
Melt 25g of the butter in a flameproof casserole dish. Add the shallots and fry over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until nicely golden. Meanwhile, put the steak into a polythene bag with the seasoned flour and toss together so that it becomes well coated.
Heat a large frying pan until very hot. Add the sunflower oil, then the bacon and stir fry for a few minutes until richly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the shallots in the casserole dish.
Now brown the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, then add to the casserole dish. Add the remaining butter to the frying pan and brown the beef well on all sides. Transfer to the casserole dish.
Now add the wine and stock to the frying pan, bring to the boil and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour this into the casserole dish, add plenty of seasoning, especially pepper, and mix together well.
Cover the casserole with a tight fitting lid and bake for 1-1½ hours until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. Now all you have to do is stir in the chopped parsley, check the seasoning and tip into your pie dish then let cool as quickly as possible.
Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a thickness of a beer mat. Trim a strip long enough to go around the rim of a 20cm pie dish.
When the stew has cooled, line the rim of the dish with the thin strip of pastry. Dampen the pastry rim by brushing with beaten egg. Cut a piece of pastry to fit across the top of the dish and place on top of the pie filling, pressing the edges together to seal. Make a steam hole in the centre of the pie by cutting a small cross in the centre with a sharp knife, then brush with more beaten egg.
Pop the pie into the oven and cook for about 35 minutes, and serve.
Serve with mash and mixed greens.