The humble pie, a delightful wonder during the cold months with it’s rich crunchy pastry and hot meat filling, there’s nothing quite like it. There’s only one person I know who doesn’t like a pie and that dishonorable award goes to my significant other. There are so many different ways to make pies it can be quite overwhelming from the type of pastry, to the type of filling. From my experience working in British pubs (countless pie and a pint nights) I’ve got a dead simple pastry recipe and method, for this pie I’ve made a braised beef filling which is also quick and easy for you to replicate at home.
I quite like everything a pie represents; hearty, filling, working mans food! Pies came about because of a need for nutritious easily transportable food back in the day when you needed to go on a journey across land or sea. They’ve since become much more than that, a British classic, a proper pie contains a top and a bottom – that’s right a PROPER pie….
Pastry and pie recipe is at the bottom.
Below is my process for rolling out pies:
Firstly you will want to roll out the pastry about 1/4 of a cm in thickness. Pies tend to cook better in metal containers because they conduct the heat well, so for these I’ve used dariole moulds. You’ll also want to find two round objects, one slightly smaller than the other to use as cutter/templates for the top and bottoms of your pies. For the pie moulds you will also want a generous amount of butter to stop the pastry sticking and to get a nice golden cooked pie case.
Next cut out the bottoms using the bigger template, and place that into the bottom of the mould, make sure its pressed right down to the bottom, then use your fingers to create a bit of a lip/overflow of pastry so we have something to stick our lid to.
Place your filling in the pie, the filling will want to be cold so we don’t start cooking the pastry, fill the pie right up to the top.
Cut the lids out using the smaller template, egg wash the bottom, place the lid on top and stick it to the base, use your hands and pinch around the outside to get it air tight, once the top and bottom are connected, use your fingers and thumbs to crimp around the outside of the pie – this may take a little bit of practice. Once the lids is nicely connected, egg wash the top to give it a golden glaze when you cook it. Generally speaking pies like this take roughly 20 – 25 minutes at 180 . c .
There we go, the finished product albeit slightly caramelised on the top, my blasted oven runs fantastically hot but it was still bloomin’ tasty!
- 500 g diced chuck
- 300 ml ale
- 1 tbs gravy granules
- 250g lard
- 250g butter
- 1000 g plain flour
- 250 ml cold water
- This will make more than enough pastry, you can freeze it in flat batches and use it another day.
- You'll also need salt and pepper as well as 1 egg for egg washing.
- Firstly get the beef into a deep dish/tray, season with salt and pepper, cover with ale and foil the the dish, braise in the oven for 2 hour and 30 minutes at 150 .c, until tender. Once out of the oven, strain the liquid from the meat and thicken with gravy granules, pour the gravy back over the pie mix and allow to cool.
- For the pastry rub together lard, butter and flour until it forms a bread crumb texture through out the mix, slowly add cold water and mix it in until it forms a dough, roughly knead the pastry for about a minute, cling film and allow to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. Relaxed the gluten means the pastry won't shrink as much.