Steak & Mushroom Pies

In England we have a lot of delicious, savoury pies. Probably one of the most famous is steak and kidney pie, which I grew up eating, and actually liked- until an American said: “Kidneys?! That’s disgusting!” And then I thought about it for the first time in my life, and agreed. Eating kidneys is gross! So is buying them, and cooking with them… so that pie is out. The next variation is Steak and Ale Pie- but I don’t feel comfortable buying beer, and didn’t really want to cook with it either. So, I decided to cook the last variation- Steak and Mushroom Pie, instead. I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out, or if my family or I would even like it- but it’s so traditional English, that I wanted to have a go anyway!

I started it at 4pm, and served it close to 6:30pm! I had no idea it would take that long!!!! But you know what?! It was SO completely worth it. This is one of the best things I have ever cooked. I don’t even like steak and mushroom pie that much, but this home-made version blows the store-brought versions, and even most pub-versions, completely away! It was SO delicious! I served it to my husband, and was secretly hoping he wouldn’t like it that much (because it was kind of a process to make) but he raved about it, and my husband is really picky, and isn’t very expressive with compliments! Then he asked me when I was going to make it again! :-/ But at least now he knows how awesome English food is! (And how awesome his English wife is too!)

Here is the recipe. I found it from hungerhunger and converted and adapted it slightly. If you follow the link you will get the original, English version.

Ingredients: Makes 2 pies in ramekins.
1 Lb Chuck Steak/ Blade & Mince will do too
1/2 Tbsp butter 1
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 a large onion (or 1 small)
1 clove garlic
1/2 Tbsp flour
3/4 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup. red wine
1 cup. beef stock
1/2 cup water
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 bay leaf
14 oz. mushrooms
Egg Wash
Salt and Pepper

For the pastry:
7 ounces self-raising flour
7 ounces mashed potato, cooled
5 ounces unsalted butter

1. Season the meat with salt and pepper and chop into bite size pieces. In a heavy saucepan, heat the butter in the olive oil and brown the beef in very small batches. Set aside.

2. Add the chopped onion to the same pan, and fry until softened. Add the garlic, flour, beef and remaining ingredients (except the mushrooms). Let simmer uncovered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the beef is tender. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the mushrooms. When the liquid starts to dry-up (after an hour or so) add another 1/2 cup water. If you think it’s looking too dry, add another 1/2 cup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Make the potato pastry. Sift the flour into a bowl. Rub in the butter, then stir in the mashed potato. Chill in the fridge for half an hour.
4. Remove the bay leaves and divide mixture into individual ramekins (to the brim)
You can line the ramekins or greased baking pans with short crust pastry (not potato pastry as it’s too soft) you want the pastry overhanging the rims by about 1 cm.

5. Roll pastry tops out. I found the potato pastry was very soft, almost like mashed potatoes, and pressed it flat with my hands. Cover the pie tops with the pastry, trim and mark the rim with a fork, then slit the middle with a knife, to vent.
Brush with beaten egg and bake at 390defF for 25 minutes, until pastry is golden.

I had no idea how it’d turn out, because I was skeptical of the ingredients: red wine, and tomato paste together? Potato in pastry? But it all came together perfectly!! The beef was tender and perfectly seasoned, and the pastry was soft and flaky! (I will use the same pastry recipe for every savoury pie I make from now on!) It was a lot of effort, but really worth it. I will cook this time and time again for my family, plus anyone who is ever skeptical of English food!

I hope you guys love this recipe as much as I do!

Love, Sarah