Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Beef and Guinness Pie for Matt and Becky

I should have made this pie with stewing steak, but couldn’t find any in Shepherds Bush, so rather luxuriously made it with rump steak.

About 900g rump steak, trimmed of its fat and cut into 4cm chunks
Plain flour
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into batons
1 leek, finely sliced
100g mushrooms, wiped and halved or quartered if very big
A large can of Guinness
A pint of beef stock
A good squeeze of tomato puree
Ready-made puff pastry

Put the beef on a work surface, scatter with a couple of tablespoons of flour, plenty of salt and pepper, and toss well to coat. Heat a good large knob of butter and glug of oil in a large heavy casserole dish and, in small batches, fry the beef on a high heat, quickly, turning it, to brown it on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside on a plate somewhere warm. Add more oil to the pan and fry the onions until soft, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the leek, carrots and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the browned beef, pour in the Guinness, then the stock, stir, season, and bring to the boil. Allow it to simmer vigorously for about ½ an hour, then turn the heat right down and leave it for a further hour and a half to 2 hours, blipping quietly. Allow to cool, with a lid on.

Meanwhile divide the pastry into two balls, one double the size of the other. On a floured work surface roll both pieces out into large circles. Lay the bigger circle into a deep pie dish, so it reaches up the sides and over the edges a bit, gently pressing it into shape. Pour the filling in, reserving some of the liquid if it looks too runny. Brush the edge of the pastry with water (to make it stick) and lay the other pastry circle on the top, sealing it around the edges with the tines of a fork. Trim the excess and roll this out again to make pasty shapes to decorate the top – letters to spell a name, or pretty leaves, or B Loves M, as I did. Brush the whole top with beaten egg and bake at 180c for 45 mins, until golden. Serve with mashed suede and parsnips and hot mustard.

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