Here’s a pie to cuddle up with on the sofa. Tender meat, a deeply savoury gravy, the akiest pastry and molten blue cheese.
For the pastry
400g plain flour
1 tbsp English mustard powder 100g lard
2 eggs, beaten (1 for the pastry and 1 for egg wash)
For the filling
1kg braising steak such as brisket or skirt, cut into chunks, any sinew and fatty bits discarded
50g plain flour
1 tbsp English mustard powder
3 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil 250g bacon lardons
2 carrots, cut into small chunks
2 onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
600ml beef stock
6 thyme sprigs
150g strong crumbly blue cheese, such as stilton
1 piece marrowbone, about 10cm
First, make the pastry. Put the our, mustard powder, 1/2 tsp salt, the lard and butter in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add 1 egg and pulse again. Add 1 tbsp cold water, if needed, until it forms a short pastry. Knead quickly into a ball, then wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins. Can be made three days ahead or frozen for two months.
Season the steak generously and toss with the our and mustard powder. Heat half the oil in a large pan. Brown the meat in a few batches, adding more oil as you need to and making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. Turn the meat only when the underside has a nice dark crust. Transfer the chunks to a plate as you go.
Add the bacon to the pan and fry until beginning to crisp. Tip in the carrots, onions and bay leaves and cook for another few mins
until the veg is soft. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and tomato purée for 1 min, scraping the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan, then add the stock, thyme and browned beef. Season, cover the pan and simmer gently for 21/2 hrs, stirring now and again to prevent the sauce from sticking, until the beef is tender. Remove the lid for the last 30 mins to thicken the sauce. Alternatively, braise in the oven at 160C/140C fan/gas 3 for the same amount of time. Leave to cool. Can be chilled for up to three days,
or frozen for two months.
Transfer the beef to a pie dish and crumble the cheese over the top. Place the marrowbone in the centre, nestling it into the meat. Alternatively, use a pie funnel or piping nozzle. Roll out the pastry
on a oured worktop until large enough to cover the pie and about 1/2cm thick. Brush the remaining beaten egg over the edges of the pie dish, drape the pastry over, trim the excess pastry and pinch around the edge to seal. Cut a hole for the marrowbone or pie funnel to poke through, and brush the top all over with beaten egg. Use the pastry trimmings to decorate the pie however you like. Chill for about 30 mins while you heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
If you have any beaten egg left, give the pie a brush for extra glossiness. Bake for 45-50 mins until the pastry is deep golden.
(8) 831 kcals • fat 50g • saturates 22g • carbs 49g • sugars 4g • fibre 4g • protein 44g • salt 2.2g