Thursday, 29 January 2015
Aussie Meat Pie and Sour Cream Pastry (Beef Pie)
Everyone loves a good meat pie, and even though it takes a bit of work it is well worth the effort, even in the summer heat. It is also an economical meal, and feeds a crowd, or means you have leftovers for a couple of days. Buying good quality chuck steak is the secret, and I ask the butcher to slice it for me from a whole chuck and then dice it myself into 3 cm cubes.
Preheat the oven to 160 deg. C.
1 kg chuck steak, or gravy beef, diced into 3cm cubes
4 tablespoons flour
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, diced
200g thick-cut, streaky bacon, sliced into batons or lardons
300ml dark ale
500ml (2 cups) beef stock
2 carrots, chopped (optional)
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
Heat the oven to 160 deg. C
Toss the meat with flour seasoned with some salt and pepper
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and fry the meat in two batches until brown, then transfer the meat into a large, ovenproof casserole dish.
Add more oil to the pan, if needed, and fry the onion until just softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the bacon and cook until just coloured. Add the onion and bacon to the meat.
Deglaze the pan with some of the ale and add to the casserole dish along with the remaining ingredients. ie vegetables, sauces and herbs. Bring the casserole in the dish to simmering point on the stove top and then cover and place very carefully in the oven for 2 1/2 hours on 160 deg C.
Remove casserole dish from the oven with good oven mitts, remove the lid and continue cooking on the stove top until the liquid has reduced and thickened and the meat is very tender. Mushrooms can be added at this point if you like them. This filling can be made ahead of time and kept covered in the refrigerator until needed to fill the pie and be topped with sour cream pastry.
This recipe has been adapted from Matt Preston's latest recipe and works beautifully.I have also used red wine instead of the beer, and left out the bacon as well, it just depends on how Aussie you want your pie to be. Worcestershire sauce can also be used instead of the balsamic sauce.
SOUR CREAM PASTRY: (Maggie Beer's recipe)
200g unsalted butter, chilled
250g plain flour
125ml sour cream
1 egg, beaten with a little water, to glaze
To make the pastry, dice the butter and place in your food processor along with the flour and a pinch of salt, and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough combines.Turn out onto a clean surface and quickly form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until needed. It was a very hot day with high humidity when I made my first batch of this pastry, and I needed to place it in the freezer and then slightly thaw it, before it was workable.
When you are ready to bake your pie, preheat the oven to 180 deg. C.
Place the meat in a small oven dish, about 24 x 18cm. Roll the chilled pastry out until 3mm thick, lay it over the top of the pie using your rolling pin, and trim the edges. You can trim the pastry to a little larger than the dish and fold it back on itself or cut some shapes to decorate the top, whatever you prefer.
Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg glaze, and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. The top of the pie should be golden brown and the filling piping hot.