This rich beef pie is made with mushrooms and Parma ham for a delicious savoury flavour. It can be frozen in advance.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 900g shin of beef, or braising steak, cut into 5cm pieces
- 3 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 800ml strong beef stock, hot
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 30g butter
- 2 small shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250g portobello mushrooms, brushed clean, finely chopped
- 15g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 100ml boiling water
- 3 tbsp brandy or cognac
- 12 slices (about 135g) Parma ham
- 375g all-butter puff pastry
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
- 1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Season the beef, then fry, in batches, over a high heat until golden brown all over, removing each cooked batch to a plate. Once all the beef is cooked, return it to the pan, add the flour and stir to coat. Add the stock and 2 thyme sprigs, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 2½ hours until the beef is really tender. Add a little water if it gets too dry.
- 2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the shallots, garlic and remaining thyme, leaves picked, and fry until softened but not coloured. Add the portobello mushrooms, turn up the heat and fry until there is no moisture left in the pan.
- 3. Meanwhile, drain the soaked mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, then finely chop and add to the pan. Strain the reserved soaking liquid through a sieve lined with kitchen paper (to remove any grit) and add to the pan with the brandy. Cook until there is no liquid remaining. Season well with black pepper but no salt, and set aside to cool.
- 4. Lay each slice of Parma ham in turn on a chopping board. Divide the mushroom mixture into 12 equal portions (about 1 rounded tsp each), then fold the ham around the filling, forming small parcels. Don’t worry if the ham breaks a little, as long as the filling is enclosed. Chill the parcels for 20 minutes.
- 5. Once the beef is cooked, spoon it into a deep, 1.5-litre pie dish, then leave to cool. Add the mushroom parcels, pressing gently in among the beef chunks. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, brush the edge of the pie dish with beaten egg, then cover with pastry, trim to fit, and cut in an air vent.
- 6. Open-freeze until solid, then cover tightly with cling film and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. 7. When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Remove the foil and cling film, brush with beaten egg and bake from frozen for 45 minutes-1 hour, until golden brown.
Per serving: 639kcals, 37.1g fat (14.8g saturated), 51.1g protein, 32.5 carbs, 1.8g sugar, 1.6g salt
To speed up the chopping of the mushrooms, brush them clean, then pulse them in a blender until finely chopped. Go easy on the salt in this recipe, as the Parma ham makes it quite salty already. To cook the pie from fresh, chill for 20 minutes after step 5, then brush with beaten egg and cook on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Rich, peppery Rhône reds are a star match for this. Top of our list are Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Côte-Rôtie.