Beef Pie

Cook time 2 hours
Servings 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1kg beef chuck steak, sinew removed and cut into 5cm chunks
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped 
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped 
1 carrot, finely chopped
3 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme
150g speck or pancetta, cut into lardons
¼ tsp ground clove
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
1 ½ tbsp plain flour
250ml red wine
250ml port
1L beef stock
100g button mushrooms, cut in 4
1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry

1 sheet of store-bought shortcrust pastry
1 egg, lightly whisked 

Beef Pie

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large casserole or heavy based pan over a medium to high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper and seal on all sides. Set meat aside on a plate.

Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and cook the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme and speck for 5 minutes or until just coloured. Stir in the ground clove, tomato paste, Worcestershire and cook for another minute.

Return the meat and any juices to the pan and toss to coat. Add flour, stir well, and cook off for 1-2 minutes. Pour the wine and port into the pan and bring to the boil, stirring and scraping any bits from the bottom.

Add the stock and mushrooms. Cover with a piece of baking paper with a small hole in the middle (a cartouche) and then a lid and cook on a low heat for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender. Once the meat is cooked remove from the pan and roughly shred with two forks. Discard the thyme sprigs and bring the sauce to the boil to thicken. Turn the heat off and fold through the meat. Let cool a little.

Grease a 24cm (approx.) pie dish with a little oil. Line base and sides with shortcrust pastry and cut off excess around the edges. Line with a piece of baking paper and fill with uncooked rice or pulses to weigh down. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove paper and rice/beans and cook for a further 10 minutes. 

Pour the meat into the cooked shortcrust pastry shell and press down, then top with the puff pastry and trim excess. Press the edges down with a fork to seal. Brush with the egg and cut a small slit in the centre. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.