Well, more truthfully, my steak pie that I make for the Big Guy. This is rib-stickingly good eating, and definitely something that will light up the eyes of anyone coming in on a cold, wet winters evening. Pop off your shoes, relax by the fire, and enjoy with a glass of red wine.
Will serve 4 very hungry, cold men
1 lb cubed beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, chopped
1 stick of celery, diced
1.5 litres water
2 heaped tablespoon original Bisto powder
100ml red wine
4 large waxy potatoes
500g shortcrust pastry (plain or savoury, not sweet!)
1 egg, beaten
1. In a small saucepan put your cubed beef. Pour in just enough cold water to cover the beef, and place over a high heat. It will quickly come to the boil, and see that foam that rises? That’s excess fat, we’re not going to need that. Now that’s sorted, drain your beef, and run it under a cold tap just to cool it off again. Leave aside to rest.
2. Take the biggest pot you have. It needs to hold the entire stew so you need a big pot here. Drizzle a little oil onto the bottom, enough to coat it, and place over a high heat. Add your onions, carrots, and celery and let them sizzle for 2-3 minutes, stirring them around.
3. Next add your beef, water, Bisto, red wine and bouquet garni and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Once it has started to boil reduce to a low heat and cover. Leave to simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. At this point peel your potatoes and cut them into very large chunks. Think 2cm thick slices. Pop them into the pot, cover, and leave for another 45 mins to an hour, or until you can knock the beef and potatoes apart with a wooden spoon. You should preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 about now too.
5. Now, the dish can actually be eaten at this point as a perfectly lovely stew, just so you know!
6. Roll half your shortcrust pastry out to a thickness of just under 1cm, and line the base of a large, deep, buttered overproof dish.
7. Spoon in your stewed steak and vegetables (remember to remove the bouquet garni!) and a little of the gravy (about half should do it). Keep the rest of the gravy covered and aside for now.
8. Roll out the rest of your pastry, and cover the pie with it. Remember to press down on the edges to get a really good seal on your pie. Glaze the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, and slash a few vents with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
9. Pop the pie in the lower part of the oven and bake for 35-40 mins, or until the top is golden and crispy. You might want to place a baking tray underneath it to stop any juices that escape from becoming a smoky, charred mess on the bottom of your oven.
10. Once the pie is baked remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool slightly whilst you re-heat the leftover gravy. Serve in thick slices, with a generous splash of the extra gravy.
*This is a great use also for leftover roast beef, though be sure to adjust the cooking times accordingly.
**Although there’s already potatoes in the dish, if you wanted to stretch it that little bit further, you could serve smaller portions with mashed potatoes and lashings of gravy.