I once had an argument with my flatmate that everything would taste better with pastry. Naturally there are exceptions, not that I would have admitted it at the time, but I still stand by that claim. I think I’ve always loved pastry goods in one form or another. When I was younger I went through a phase of really loving apple turnovers and custard squares… then it was (and still is) the custard fruit tart or berry danish phase… I’ve always loved mum’s curry puffs and quiches… and I’m quite partial to the sausage rolls or vege tart things they always provide at catered lunches… so my current love? Pies.
I’m not talking about the frozen pies, or the ones that have been drying out for hours in the warmer at the Fix, or even the well loved Trisha’s pies- I’m talking about whipping up some pies at home. Currently on rotate on our dinner menus- the classic steak, the creamy chicken, and most recently, the fish pie with a combo of smoked and fresh fish. Now that I’ve nailed the classics, I think it’s time I branched out into something more interesting… any ideas?
Anyway, here’s a “steak pie for those spring evenings which actually feel like you’re in the middle of winter again”.
- Chop up a combo of onions, carrots, celery, maybe some leek- whatever you have on hand, usually about a cup of vege per pie.
- Trim and chop up the steak into fairly even chunks- I go for about 150g per pie, and think chuck or blade steak works the best. Season the steak with salt and pepper, dust with some flour, then brown off in a hot pan. Transfer to a pot.
- Throw into that same pan the vege mix, give it a good glug of red wine, let that simmer off for a couple of minutes then add about a cup of stock- chicken, beef, from the carton, from the cube- it doesn’t really matter. Bring that all to the boil and then pour into the pot with the steak. Season with salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, herbs… whatever suits you.
- Now just let that simmer away for however long it takes for your steak to be tender and the gravy to be thick- usually 1-2 hours. I like to add in some peas at the end for extra vege and colour, then let it cool…
- Butter your pie dishes, and line with pastry, making sure the joins are well sealed- I use puff pastry, usually Pams which comes in a really handy roll instead of the sheets or block. Spoon in the steak filling, sauce and all, and put the top on.
- Fan bake in an oven preheated to 180C. They should be ready in about 20 minutes, or when the pastry is nice and golden. Capisce?
Once out of the oven, there’s no messing about… straight onto a plate and in front of a certain someone who already has their knife and fork at the ready to cut through the flakey layers of pastry to reveal the piping hot meaty goodness. So go make like Shane Warne (pre Hurley) and eat some pies!