Meat Pie Recipe
A shortcrust pastry base and puff pastry lid enclose tender pieces of beef in a flavoursome gravy.
The amount of red wine in the filling could be increased if you would like the pies to have a strong red wine flavour (reduce the water or stock by a corresponding amount).
Preparation time: about 1 hour 15 minutes (excludes simmering and baking times)
Makes 6 single-serve pies.
We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.
40ml (2 tablespoons) oil
1kg trimmed beef chuck or shin, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large (about 200g) onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
24g (1 tablespoon) tomato paste
83ml (1/3 cup) red wine
375ml (1 1/2 cups) beef stock (we use a low salt stock)
375ml (1 1/2 cups) water
20ml (1 tablespoon) worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
24g (2 tablespoons) cornflour (cornstarch)
40ml (2 tablespoons) water
2-3 sheets puff pastry, thawed (we use sheets that measure about 25cm by 25cm)
4 sheets shortcrust pastry, thawed (we use sheets that measure about 25cm by 25cm)
We brown the meat in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. If you need to brown the meat in more than two batches, ignore the suggested oil and meat quantities in the following paragraph and divide 1 3/4 tablespoons oil among the batches (the remaining teaspoon of oil is used when cooking the onion).
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or stockpot over high heat. Add half the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned (about six to seven minutes). Transfer browned meat to a bowl. Add three teaspoons of the remaining oil to the pot and brown remaining meat. Transfer second batch of meat to the bowl with the first batch.
Return pot to the heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and add the last teaspoon of oil. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently and scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pot. When the onion has softened and lightly browned, add garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.
Stir in red wine. Add stock, 375ml (1 1/2 cups) water, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, meat, salt and pepper.
Stir to combine.
Increase heat to high and bring mixture to the boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low so the mixture is just simmering. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 30 minutes or so, until the meat is barely covered by the liquid (when you remove the lid, you may need to increase the heat slightly to maintain a simmer).
Stir the cornflour and the 40ml (2 tablespoons) water together in a small bowl until well combined. Stir into the meat mixture.
Cook, stirring, until the mixture comes back to the simmer. Simmer for one minute. © exclusivelyfood.com.au
Remove meat mixture from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl or leave in the cooking pot. Remove bay leaves. Cover and refrigerate mixture until completely cold.
When ready to cook the pies, preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan-forced). If you are not using a fan-forced oven, adjust the oven rack to the lowest position; the pastry bases will brown better if they are close to the bottom element.
Grease six non-stick individual-serve pie tins with butter. We use 3cm deep pie tins that measure about 7.5cm across the base and about 12.5cm across the top (including the rim).
Invert pie tins on puff pastry and cut around the tins to form the lids of the pies. Place pastry lids in a single layer, and cover with a damp, clean tea towel to prevent them drying out.
Invert pie tins on shortcrust pastry and cut around the pie tins about 1.5cm from the edges of the tins.
Ease shortcrust pastry rounds into pie tins. If you can see air bubbles under the pastry, lift some of the pastry away from the tin and push the air out with your fingers.
Divide meat mixture evenly among pastry bases.
Brush rims of pastry bases with water and cover pies with puff pastry lids.
Using a fork, firmly press around the edge of each pie lid to join lid to base.
Use a sharp knife to trim any pastry overhanging the tins.
Use the point of the knife to make a few small cuts in each pastry lid. At this point, the pies could be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and cooked later.
If desired, brush tops of pies with a little beaten egg to give the cooked pies a deeper golden colour.
Bake pies for about 35-40 minutes, or until the tops and bases are golden brown.
Store any leftover pies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Suitable to freeze. © www.exclusivelyfood.com.au