A & C Cook: Fool-proof Steak Pie Recipe

We had a pretty quiet Christmas this year. C had over two weeks off pottering around Greenwich and A had only three (exceedingly quiet) days in the office. As a result, we've had a little bit more time to mess about in the kitchen that we have typically. This has been a real pleasure; we both absolutely love to cook but two busy professional jobs in town mean that we tend to stick to tried and tested quick dinners or convenience food in the week.

In December though, we experimented and this wintry beef pie was one of the more successful "easy dinners" that we made. Simple, healthful and filling, we'll be doing this again. There was no recipe, just A messing about with a few simple ingredients. The how-to is below.


Recipe:

  1. Roughly chop a couple of large carrots, a turnip and two parsnips and place in a baking dish
  2. Take two small onions and slice finely. Soften for a few minutes in a pan, add some crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to soften for a few minutes more
  3. Add some lean beef steak, and brown it with the onions before adding to the winter veg. Next, add a beef stock cube and some water. Once the water is at the boil, add some cornflour mixed with some cold water and use to this to create a thick sauce. Pour the mixture in with the vegetables and mix well
  4. Finally, take a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry, lay over the baking dish and trim the excess off with a knife. Place in a low-ish fan oven (160°C) for 50 minutes after cutting a slit or cross in the top to let steam escape. Cut up into portions and serve with petits pois or any other veg you please. 

The beauty of this dish is that it needs literally nothing else. Protein, veg, carbs and fat all exist in the same dish. It's also delicious. 

There are a number of enhancements we would make if we were doing this again, which include the following:
  • Add some extra herbs: we find marjoram or thyme work particularly well with beef, but that's just us.
  • Use a fattier cut than lean steak: the supermarket A visited was had a limited selection on the day, but this would work best with a cheap, fatty cut such as shin or neck. You could also do a lamb version with, say shoulder but don't the herbs you use.
  • Egg wash the top: This will make the pastry look better. You could also try using the excess pastry to decorate the top for something that you could serve up at a dinner party.
  • Add some grains to make a really substantial meal: a handful of pearl barley or a supermarket winter soup mix (Waitrose does a good one) would work a treat in a dish like this. This would also help the meat go further and so lessen the cost per portion.

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