Beef shin ragù pie
- November 2015
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 1½ hours, simmering time 3½ hours, oven time 1 hour 45 min
Beef shin is cooked slowly, in a gorgeous herby red wine sauce, before topping with pastry and baked until golden. If you’re after a rich, hearty beef pie that’s full of flavour, this is the recipe for you.
- 36.7g (38.3g saturated)
- 62.3g (8g sugars)
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 5 medium carrots, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, halved
- 1kg British beef shin, diced
- 60g plain flour
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 600ml red wine
- A few fresh oregano sprigs
- A few fresh thyme sprigs
For the pastry
- 500g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 medium free-range egg, plus
- egg yolks, lightly beaten, to glaze
- 80g unsalted butter
- 80g lard, plus extra to grease
- Heat 25g of the butter and 1 tbsp of the oil in large deep casserole. Add the shallots and carrots and gently fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add the remaining butter and oil. Coat the beef in the flour, add to the pan and fry until it starts to brown (2-3 minutes). Return the veg and add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, 500ml of the wine and the herbs.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer gently over a low heat. Put the lid on and simmer for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes, checking it’s not catching on the pan base. If the beef isn’t falling apart after this time, simmer for another 30 minutes.
- When ready, stir in the remaining wine and season, then take off the heat and cool almost completely.
- Meanwhile, make the pastry. Put the flour and salt in a heatproof bowl, make a well in the centre, crack in the egg, then cover with the flour. Put the butter and lard in a pan with 200ml water and bring to the boil. When the fat has melted, pour the mixture into the flour, mixing well with a knife. When cool enough to handle, knead on a lightly floured work surface until smooth. Shape into a disc, cover loosely and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Once the pastry is lukewarm, cut off one third, wrap in cling film and chill. Roll out the rest on a floured work surface to a circle about 40cm in diameter. Grease a 23cm diameter, 5cm deep, fluted loose-bottomed tart tin. Line it with the pastry, leaving a 2-3cm overhang all round. Line with baking paper and foil, then fill completely with baking beans or uncooked rice. Blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper, foil and beans, lightly brush half the beaten egg yolk all over the pastry case, then bake for another 13-14 minutes until the bottom of the case feels sandy and there are no grey areas. Cut away the overhanging pastry with a sharp knife to give a clean edge.
- Fill the pastry case generously (you may not need all the ragù), then roll out the remaining pastry on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Stamp out as many leaves as you can and arrange over the filling in a circular pattern, slightly overlapping (you may need to re-roll the trimmings). Glaze with the remaining beaten egg, then chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden. Turn the oven down to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½ and bake for 20 minutes more. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
It’s important to cook the ragù on the hob rather than in the oven as it thickens up more – and you need a really thick filling for the pie so it cuts well.
We used one of a set of 7 Kitchen Craft leaf-shaped cutters. Find them in cook shops or online at kitchenscookshop.co.uk.
Make the pastry, wrap tightly in cling film and chill for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. The ragù will keep chilled for up to 72 hours in a sealed container. The whole pie will keep for 48 hours, chilled, in a sealed box.
Nero d’avola or primitivo from Italy.
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