January, 23: National Pie Day Steak Pie

As Mr. Sloan always says, there is no ‘I’ in team, but there is an ‘I’ in pie. And there’s an ‘I’ in meat pie. Anagram of meat is team … I don’t know what he’s talking about.

-Simon Pegg as Shaun of Shaun of the Dead

Last Sunday, I decided to serve up a steak pie to go with our Outlander viewing party. This was my first foray into meat pies, but since I have seen several seasons of The Great British Bake Off, I am an expert. Right? I wanted this to be a Scottish pie, but to be honest, I’m not a fan of turnips and swedes (rutabagas), so I went a bit more Irish but still included the red currant jelly.  There were no complaints. 

This serves 5-6 in a 12” deep-dish pie pan.  Alongside the pie, I served a leafy green salad and rosemary red potatoes.  We had a nice bottle of fruity but dry Syrah.

The Filling

2 tbsp canola oil

1 ½ pound chuck steak, cut into 1-inch cubes and seasoned with salt &

1 tbsp butter

1 cup pearl onions, cleaned. Cut larger ones in half.

3 garlic cloves

3 carrots, large (I used multi-colored)

3 stalks celery

1 cup mushrooms

2 ¼ cups beef stock

1 cup red wine (I used an inexpensive Merlot)

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp red currant jelly

The Bouquet Garni

cheesecloth and kitchen string to enclose the bouquet

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs rosemary, fresh

1 handful Italian parsley, fresh

3 large sage leaves, fresh

3 sprigs thyme, fresh

The Pastry

1 sheet frozen ready-made puff pastry

1 egg

1 tsp water

Prepare Bouquet:

Rinse and dry herbs. You may leave them on their stems.

Cut a 5 x 5” square of cheesecloth.

Put herbs inside, tie off with kitchen string.

Prepare Filling:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In large oven-safe stockpot with a lid, heat oil over medium high.  Sear the beef for 3-5 minutes until golden.

Take the beef pieces out of the stockpot and set aside.

Back in the stockpot, melt butter and add garlic and onions. Use a wooden spoon to scrape beef bits and juices. Simmer for 1-2 minutes as they start to sweat and become translucent.

Next, add in carrots and celery. Stir and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add mushrooms and stir for a minute until vegetables are golden. Add the reserved steak pieces.

Next, pour in 2 cups of stock  and red wine, and mix well.
While this bubbles and the liquid reduces, create a thickener.

In a small pan, heat ¼ c of broth to light simmer, then whisk in the cornstarch. When it’s well blended, add mustard and red currant jelly. Pour this into your main pot. Bring the liquid to a boil.

Before placing into the oven, submerge your bouquet garni into the pot and cover your stockpot. Transfer the stockpot from the stove into the oven, and let the filling bake for 2½ hours.

After the filling has baked, remove it from the oven and discard the bouquet garni. Spoon filling into the pie pan and let it cool.
I made my filling the day before and then topped it with the crust just
before the second bake. In any case, the filling needs to be cool, or the puff pastry will sweat and soften.

Prepare the Pastry

While the filling cooks, thaw the one sheet of pastry for 30 minutes until pliable but not warm.

Roll on lightly floured surface to ¼” thick and to trim the size of your pie pan. Use excess to create leaves. Transfer to a baking sheet. Cover tight
with plastic and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the Pie

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Create an egg wash by beating the egg and 1 tsp of water.  Brush some egg wash around the edge of the pastry and invert it onto the filling. This will keep the puff pastry from sticking to the dish. Brush the top of your puff pastrywith the more egg wash. Top with pastry leaves. Brush the leaves, with egg
wash, then place your steak pie onto a cookie sheet (to catch any leaks) and place into the oven.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden. If the edges start to brown to quickly, cover them with aluminum foil to allow the center more time to bake. Remove and slice pastry.  Use a large spoon to serve.

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