Mince and onion pie – with homemade shortcrust pastry

There’s little in life more comforting than home made pie – and this is exactly one of those dishes.

Our filling was loosely based on this recipe from the BBC, however without mushrooms (my boyfriend hates them with a vengeance and tantrums whenever I sneak them into food without his knowledge!). We recommend making your own pastry using the recipe we’ve provided here however Jus’ Roll or similar is fine if you are short on time.

This is also what I would call a ‘proper pie’ one which has a pastry bottom as well as a pastry top – if you’re going to do something, you may as well do it properly I say!

Ingredients: Serves 6 + leftovers
2 tbsp vegetable oil
500g/1lb 2oz beef mince
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
1½ tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
200ml stout
200ml beef stock
1 egg


Method: for the filling

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and fry the beef mince for 4-5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns.

3. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, stir in the tomato purée and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for a further minute.

4. Next add the beef stock and stout. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cover and cook until the liquid has reduced right down. This took me about two hours but if you are short on time, just use a little less liquid so the reduction time is less.

If you are making your own pastry then now is a good time to do it, if its ready before the filling, just wrap it in cling-film and put in the fridge, alternatively you can wait until after the filling is cooked – whatever works for you

5. Once the pie mixture is roughly the consistency of a thick casserole, take off the heat and leave to cool slightly while you prepare the pastry.

6. Take your pastry – homemade or prepacked and cut into two parts – one piece about two thirds, the other about a third. Wrap the smaller piece in clingfilm and put in the fridge.

7. Roll out the larger piece and line a large pie dish with this – leave the pastry overhanging the edges and bake blind in the oven for about 5 minutes. Use baking beans if you have them, I don’t and just use a piece of foil gently pushed into place to stop the pastry rising bubbly up too much

Foodie Tip – make sure your surface and especially your rolling pin is well floured to stop the pastry sticking.

Foodie Tip – roll the pastry back over the rolling pin to transfer it from your work surface to the pie dish. This avoids you having to handle it too much which could tear it or make it sticky.

8. When you take the pie base out of the oven, it should look partially baked – just starting to colour. Trim around the edge of the pie dish so your edges are nice and neat.

9. Remove the baking beans / foil and pour in your filling. Then roll out the smaller part of your pastry for the pie lid.

10. Gently place the pastry over the top of your pie dish and push down the edges all around (I find, using your thumb or the sides of your thumb and forefinger helps and also gives the pie a nice looking crust.

11. Take a pair of kitchen scissors, hold them at an angle and make three fairly wide snips in the top of the pie.

12. Whisk your egg and brush the egg wash over the pie – this will make it look nice and shiny when it comes out.

13. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until its nice and golden. Then take it out and serve

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