I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love a big comforting pie and this pie is no exception. It has a delicious savoury beef and mushroom filling topped with buttery flaky pastry. Mmmmm what could be better on a cold Autumn day.
I had originally planned to post this for St Patrick’s Day. Whilst I might have been into the green beer and …10 years ago, I like to have slightly more class when it comes to my food and drink on St Patrick’s Day these days. So what’s more Irish than a good old stout and stew? But alas, I was disorganised, sorry wrong tense, I am disorganised and didn’t get the post out for St Patrick’s Day. I saw a picture on Facebook the other day that had a picture of an intact egg then next to it a photo of scrambled egg. The intact egg was labelled “Brain before children” and the scrambled egg was labelled “Brain after children”. Well that pretty well sums me up right now! The combination of being pregnant and having a toddler equates to one very disorganised scrambled egg brain. I have been doing some very silly things, the other night my husband found it very funny when I was making dinner and put on my oven mitts to get out plates from the pantry. In my defence, I was thinking about getting the cooking out of the oven then got distracted. See, scrambled egg I tell you! I must say that I have never been much of a diary or list kind of person, I didn’t see the point when you could just remember it which saved you having to write anything down or carry a diary around, but now I totally see where my diary and list obsessed friends are coming from! I’m a totally convert….that’s when I can find my list and diary of course. Chaos I tell you, my life is chaos! Just wait until I add another little boy to the mix. Eeek.
Back to the pie… Here’s a great segway though, this pie is just perfect to freeze or to take around to any of your friends who are also experiencing scrambled egg brain, it saves you having to worry about dinner and helps just that tiny bit with the chaos. Not to mention it really is super easy to make and requires pretty minimal prep work, the oven and fridge do most of the work for you, and if you have a slow cooker you could always reduce the amount of liquid and just throw everything in there and forget about it for the day. Say what? You think this is easy Kate? But isn’t the pastry made from scratch? Yes…but hold on, it really is super easy, hear me out. Up until I discovered this recipe for Gordon Ramsey’s Rough Puff Pastry I was dead against making any form of puff pastry, I was adamant I would never do it and was very opinionated on the matter (never mind world peace, my crusade was against making puff pastry from scratch). Everything has changed. This is so easy that you could even do it on a week night at a pinch and it always turns out! The secret is to make sure that you don’t make your “breadcrumbs” too small when you rub the butter into the flour, you want to ensure that you still have enough chunks so that when you roll it out the dough looks marbled. You only need to fold it three times and leave it in the fridge for a total of 40 mins and that’s it! None of this epic rolling and folding all day that you normally have to do. I kid you not, this really is amazing. You have to try it! Now onto the filling. Again, its easy my friends. All that you need to do is a little cutting and a little browning and sautéing then everything goes into the oven and 2-3 hours later you have this utterly delicious savoury deep brown gravy and falling apart meat. Great by itself as a stew with some garlicky creamy mashed potato on the side but even better with puff pastry in a pie.
Steak, Mushroom and Stout Pie
- 3 Tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 kg 2.2lb chuck or blade steak, trimmed and cut into 2cm (3/4 in cubes)
- 4 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 bottle approx 375mL/13oz dark stout
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 cups brown/cremini mushrooms quartered
- 1 quantity of rough puff pastry see below for recipe
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 Tbsp water
Gordon Ramsay's Rough Puff Pastry
- 2 cups 250g/0.5lb strong (high grade) plain flour
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 250 g 0.5lbbutter, at room temperature and in roughly 1cm (1/2in cubes)
- approx 150ml 5 oz ice cold water
For the filling:
Preheat oven to 160C (325F).
In a shallow dish mix together flour, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss beef in flour to coat. Shake off excess flour. Heat oil over a medium to high heat in a large dutch oven (see note 1). Add the beef and cook in batches for 3-4 min until browned on all sides (it doesn’t need to be cooked through just browned on the outside). Be sure not to overcrowd the pan or the beef will stew and not brown. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add stout, beef stock, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme and sugar. Bring the boil then turn off the heat. Add the beef back to the pan, cover with the lid slightly ajar and place in the oven to bake for 2 hours. If the sauce is still too runny and hasn’t quite made a thick rich gravy, then remove the lid completely and place back into the oven for 30 mins. Ensure you check every 10 min and stir to ensure the top doesn’t dry out.
While the beef is cooking, make your puff pastry and prepare the mushrooms. See below for Gordon Ramsay’s Rough Puff Pastry (alternatively you can always use store bought puff pastry).
For the mushroom, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a fry pan (skillet) over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-5 min. Add the mushrooms to the beef mixture and, if possible, allow to cool (see note 2).
Increase oven temperature to 190C (375F).
Place the beef filling in one large pie dish (round or rectangular is fine) or four smaller pie dishes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the rough puff pastry to just less than 0.5cm (1/4 in) thickness. Cut the pastry to the size of your pie pan(s) and place on top of the beef mixture. Trim the edges and crimp with a fork. Make an egg wash by mixing together the lightly beaten egg and water in a small bowl. Bush over the pie with a pastry brush. Using a knife make two small slits in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape.
Place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes for one large pie, 25-20 minutes for smaller pies or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Gordon Ramsay’s Rough Puff Pastry
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Add butter and rub into the flour. You want all the butter mixed in but still be able to see chunks of butter. It should resemble breadcrumbs with some larger chunks of butter scattered through.
Make a ‘well’ (hole) in the middle of the flour/butter mixture and add about 2/3 of the water. Mix into a firm dough adding more water if required. Take the dough, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 min.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Roll dough in one direction until you form a rectangle that is approximately 20cm across and 50cm long (8in x 20in) with the short side closet to you. Once the pastry is rolled out you should see a marble like effect from the chunks of butter.
Fold the top third down to the centre and the bottom third on top of that. Turn the dough a quarter turn and roll out again to 20cm x 50cm. Fold into thirds as before, cover with cling film and refrigerate for another 20-30 min prior to using.
Note 1: If you don’t have a dutch oven then use a heavy based saucepan and transfer the meat and liquid to a casserole dish with a fitted lid prior to putting in the oven.
Note 2: If time permits, allow the beef mixture to cool before adding the pastry. This ensures the bottom of the pastry doesn’t get soggy. But this step isn’t essential, it still works out just great if the beef is still warm.