My oh my, what a pie. I know this isn’t healthy, but I never promised that Tasteful Tuesdays would be about healthy meals, and to be honest, I think pies taste better than chocolate. (Yes, I really do!) But I do promise that Tasteful Tuesdays are about manageable recipes that you can make in a timely manner and that don’t call for ingredients only found in one region in the South of Spain in a specific season (You know those recipes!). And this pie ticks those boxes.
This recipe is originally from Master Chef Australia (a program that I think I might possibly be interested in competing in at some stage of my life, if I happen to find myself Down Under). You can find the recipe here.
The Perfect Pie:
• 100ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
• 5 onions, sliced
• 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
• 4 sprigs of thyme
• 3 bay leaves
• 2 tablespoons plain flour
• 1.5kg trimmed chuck steak, cut into 5cm pieces
• Salt flakes and freshly ground white pepper
• 1 carrot, cut into large chunks
• 440ml can Guinness
• 2L home-made beef stock
• 1 egg, beaten
• Tomato sauce, to serve
Maggie Beer’s Sour-Cream Pastry:
• 200g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
• 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
• ½ cup sour cream
1 || Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced (200°C conventional).
2 || For the pies, add 40ml olive oil to an enamelled cast-iron casserole, then add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook over low heat (use a simmer mat, if necessary) for 40 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium-high, add bay leaves and cook until the onion is dark and caramelised. Add the flour and cook stirring often for 3-4 minutes.
3 || Season the beef generously with salt flakes and ground white pepper. Heat remaining 60ml of the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat, then cook the beef in 2 batches until well browned on all sides. Add the carrot and cook for 5-6 minutes or until golden. Add ¾ of the Guinness and cook for 5 minutes. Tip beef and Guinness into onions. Use remaining Guinness in can to deglaze the beef pan, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom, add to the onions.
4 || Pour enough beef stock to cover the beef and vegetables and bring to the boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid, then transfer to the oven and cook for 2-2.5 hours or until tender. Leave to cool to room temperature. Remove the chunks of beef and carrot to a board and chop into 1cm pieces, then return them to the onion gravy. Refrigerate until cold.
5 || Meanwhile, to make the sour cream pastry, place the butter and flour and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle or food processor, then blend until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. Gradually add the sour cream, mixing until the pastry just comes together. Shape into a disc, then wrap in plastic wrap then chill for at least 20 minutes.
6 || Grease 6 holes of a muffin pan with a little olive oil. Roll out the pastry to 3-5mm thick, using a little extra flour for dusting. Cut out six rounds about 4cm bigger than the muffin holes for the pie bases and six rounds 2cm bigger than the muffin holes for the pie lids. Place a pie base in each hole, then press in in lightly with your fingers, and draw the pastry up the mould a little so the pastry is 1cm above the mould. Fill each hole with some of the beef mixture, brush edges with water, then top each with a pastry lid and crimp the edges to seal in the filling.
7 || Brush the pastry tops with beaten egg, cut a small hole in the centre of each pie for steam to escape. Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Turn out and serve with tomato sauce, if desired.
I whipped up a quick, herby, delicious tasting salad to eat with mine (basil, mint, thyme, rocket, spinach, carrot, goats cheese and tomatoes) and popped it onto a pretty wooden board, because I’m the queen of food presentation and believe that things taste better when they look beautiful.
Seriously, I know making a pie, and especially making your own pastry, seems like really hard work, and you’re busy thinking, “Yes, but I’d much rather be watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (Eeeeuw. Get off my blog right now.) but it’s honestly not that hard. Try it, you’ll love it!