Individual beef pies
- November 2010
- Serves 6
- Takes 1 hour to make, 3 hours 20 minutes to cook, plus chilling
Not sure how many people are coming over? Then here’s an idea.
These individual beef pies may take a while to prepare, but the succulent meat and perfect pastry are well worth the effort – and you can freeze them, too.
- 39.2g (16.8g saturated)
- 18.9g (3.8g sugar)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 800g stewing/braising steak
- 2 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 350ml dark ale
- 250ml beef stock
- 2 tsp English mustard
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
For the hot water crust pastry
- 80g butter, cut into small pieces
- 80g lard, cut into small pieces
- 450g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten, plus 1 for glazing
- For the pastry, put the butter, lard and 150ml water in a pan and bring to the boil, making sure the lard and butter have melted. Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the 2 beaten eggs to the well and sprinkle over enough flour to cover the egg. Pour the just-boiled butter and water mixture around the edge of the flour and mix quickly with a wooden spoon until combined and smooth. Knead briefly, then wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, gently heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until soft but not coloured. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Toss the steak in the flour, add to the pan along with the remaining oil, increase the heat and brown all over, in batches if necessary.
- Return the softened onion and garlic to the pan with all the steak. Add the thyme and bay leaf, pour over the ale and stock, then stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, cover, then simmer gently for about 1 hour 45 minutes until the meat is tender. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Transfer the pie filling to a bowl and cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Reserve one-third of the pastry for lids, re-wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge. Divide the rest into 6 equal pieces. Roll or press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into 17cm circles. Lightly grease 6 x 220ml metal pudding basins with oil. Line each one with a pastry circle, using your fingers to press it evenly around the sides – work the pastry up over the edge. Chill uncovered in the fridge for 40 minutes to harden.
- Divide the cooled filling among the cases. Take the reserved pastry and divide into 6. Press each piece out to a circle large enough to make a lid. Make a hole in the centre of each (for steam to escape). Dampen the edges of the pastry with water. Lay the circles over the cases and seal all around the edge with your fingers. Crimp the edges and brush the tops all over with beaten egg.
- Bake for 40 minutes (covering with foil if the pastry browns too quickly) until the pastry is golden and crisp, and the filling is piping hot. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the moulds. Serve with mash.
Pudding basins look like larger, squatter dariole moulds. Use metal ones as they conduct the heat best for crisp-crusted pies. Buy them at bake shops or online.
Freeze the uncooked pies, then defrost completely overnight in the fridge. Bake as in step 6.
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