So, what with my recent desire to conquer my pastry fears, I recently bought a really pretty pie dish off of Amazon so that I could bake some pies!! I've got to admit, when the weather starts turning cold, wet and miserable, there is nothing that I find more comforting than a nice pie, a bit of mash and some veg. Plus, pies are typically northern and cheap filling grub!! So, when I asked Andy what kind of pie he would like me to try first he picked a double crusted Minced Beef and Potato Pie.
(Serves 6 - fits a 26cm x 26cm x 5cm pie dish)
Olive Oil 400g Plain Flour
1 White Onion Pinch of Salt
2 Garlic Cloves 100g Butter
600g Minced Beef 100g Lard
2tbsp Plain Flour 4-6 tbsp Water
200ml Beef Stock
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
2 tbsp Brown Sauce
2 Large Potatoes
Salt and Pepper
1. Start by making the shortcrust pastry - sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter and fat into small cubes and using your finger tips, massage the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Add 1tbsp of water at a time and using a knife to mix the ingredients, make sure that the water combines all of the dry ingredients. When you can see that the pastry is beginning to stick together, use your hands to kneed it into a ball. You should be able to use the pastry ball to 'clean' the mixing bowl of any bits of flour or fat.
3. Wrap the ball of pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30mins. At this point, pre-heat the oven to 200degreesC and place a baking tray in the centre of the oven.
4. Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a large saucepan until they become translucent. Add the mince and brown. Afterwards add the flour, making sure the mince is covered. Pour in the beef stock, tomato puree, brown sauce and cubed potatoes and simmer for about 10mins or until slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and on a lightly floured work surface cut into two equal portions. Roll out one portion of the pastry so that it is big enough to line the base of your pie dish....then line your dish.
6. If you choose to use a pie funnel, place it in the centre of your dish and then spoon in the beef mixture, doming in the middle.
7. Roll out the other half of the pastry and gently place on top of the pie (making a hole for the funnel). Crimp the edges together with your fingers and using a pastry brush, gently brush either milk or egg yolk on top of the pie for a nice golden colour. You will probably have some excess pastry left over - I just use mine to add some extra decoration on top. NEVER throw away pastry.
8. Place the pie dish on the pre heated oven tray and allow to cook for 40mins or until crispy, flaky and golden. Serve with fresh carrots and frozen peas.
Quite impressed with how this turned out! Only thing is, I definitely need to invest in a pastry brush, as trying to dab milk on to the top of a pie using your finger tips really doesn't work and instead gives a rather patchy effect. The pie tasted good, but I think it needs to be served with gravy - the beef stock thickens up quite a lot in the pie making it a little dry and the shortcrust pastry doesn't really help. Might give flaky pastry a go next time as it's a bit more flavoursome and less floury.