I have only recently got into the swing of slow cookers. They’re pretty handy.
For this recipe use one of those, or a heavy based saucepan or a pot with a lid you can put in the oven on low.
A chunk of beef roast – it’s hard moving from country to country as everywhere has different names for cuts of meat. Basically you want a chunk of beef that is good for slow cooking. Cut it up into generous chunks.
4 cloves of garlic
A few bay leaves
Some thyme – fresh or dried
Some mushrooms (never ever bother with button mushrooms because they will add no flavour and they’re a waste of space and money) Pick a more robust one.
A glass or two of red wine
Some English mustard (or whatever mustard you may have)
About a third of a cup of flour well seasoned with salt and pepper
What to do
- Roll the chunks of beef in the flour
- Heat some oil in a heavy based frying pan
- Brown the meat in the oil
- Once it is done put it into the saucepan/slow cooker whatever you’re using to slowly cook the dish
- Once you have cooked the meat, put the red wine into the saucepan to deglaze i.e. get all the good sticky stuff out of the pan using a wooden spoon. Put that into the saucepan with the meat
- Heat a little more oil and fry off the onions and garlic and carrots until a little softer (just a few minutes)
- Add to the meat with the bay leaves, mustard and thyme
- Add some stock (whatever you have – beef/vegetable) or water if you don’t have any stock – just enough to cover most of the meat. Not too much.
- Simmer/put in the oven on 200 degrees/put the slow cooker on for about an 1.5 hours until the meat is fairly tender…it is going to continue cooking in the pie.
- Check the flavour and add salt and pepper if necessary, then leave to cool
- At this stage you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days or indeed freeze it.
- Or fry up the mushrooms for a few minutes and add to the beef
The Making of the Pie
- See Ruff Puff Pastry recipe a couple below this recipe….(you will have made this earlier….)
- Cut the pastry into 2 rectangles, one a little bit bigger than the other
- Roll out the larger one to about 1/4 inch thick and use to line your slightly greased with butter pie dish. Trim off any excess.
- Roll out the smaller piece so it will happily cover the pie
- Spoon in the yummy filling (I’ll give you other recipes later – chicken and leek, rabbit with cider, mmm whatever you like really)
- Add the juices to about 3/4 way up the meat. Give the rest to your dogs if you have any. They will love you.
- You could use egg yolk mixed with a little milk to seal the pastry together or you could crimp it together with your fingers
- For funsies with any spare pastry you can make decorations for the top….see below! I made a fish for my darling because he is a little bit addicted to his beautiful fish aquarium/s right now.
- Brush the rest of the egg yolk/milk mixture over the top and it will crisp up nicely like the photograph.
- Make 2 crosses at each side of the pie with a big knife to allow steam out
- Bake in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees) for 50 minutes – 1 hour until it looks golden brown.
Mmmmmmm you are in for one yummy treat. Serve with potatoes wedges, mashed potatoes, steamed greens, whatever you like.
And of course you can use the filling to make hand held pasties as well, which is the same pastry just shaped differently. A circle with the filling out on one side and then folded over and crimped closed. These freeze well and then you just take them out and cook them from frozen. Easy peasy.