Chinese spiced beef pie
- March 2011
- Serves 6
- Takes 1 hour to make, 2 hours 10 minutes to cook
Looking for a beef pie with a twist? This Chinese spiced beef pie recipe is just the thing for a hearty weekend lunch.
Or, if you want Chinese flavours but don’t fancy making your own pastry, try this gingery beef and mushroom pie with a puff-pastry top.
- 26.3g fat (12g saturated)
- 48.3g protein
- 74.5g carbs (9.5g sugars)
- 5.6g salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1kg good-quality stewing beef such as chuck steak
- 1½ tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
- 25g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 4 medium potatoes, cut into large cubes
- 4 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 100ml light soy sauce
- 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 3 whole large red chillies
- 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
For the pastry
- 300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 100g butter, cut into cubes
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole, then cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat for a few minutes until starting to soften. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn up the heat and add the remaining oil to the casserole. Brown the meat all over, in batches, over a high heat for a few minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Finely crush the Szechuan peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, then add the flour. Cook the spiced flour in the casserole for a few seconds. Return the meat and onions to the dish and toss everything together.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the casserole, then cover with 400ml water. Bring to a simmer, then cook, covered, over a very low heat for 1½ hours until the meat is tender and the sauce is thickened and glossy. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Meanwhile, make the pastry. Mix the flour with a good pinch of salt in a bowl, then add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Slowly add ice-cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, stirring it in with a round-bladed knife, until the dough just sticks together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- Transfer the cooled filling to a 2 litre pie dish. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 2.5cm larger than the pie dish. Put a pie funnel in the centre of the filling (it will support the pastry and stop it sinking and becoming soggy). Moisten the edges of the dish with a little water to help the pastry stick. Lay the pastry over the top of the dish, pressing down well on the edges to seal – don’t make a hole in the centre for the pie funnel just yet. Trim any excess pastry, then crimp the edges with a fork or between your thumb and forefinger. Wrap in cling film, then foil. Freeze.
- The day before you want to eat the pie, remove it from the freezer and defrost completely overnight in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Make a hole in the centre of the pastry to reveal the pie funnel. Bake for 35-40 minutes until crisp, golden and piping hot.
This is perfect served with pak choi or choi sum.
Make the filling the day before then chill, covered, in the fridge to allow the flavours to develop.
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