Preparation time : 1 hour
Cooking time : 1 1/2 hours for filling, plus cooling and 40 minutes final baking
You can also make this filling without the pastry, and serve it as a stew instead.
3 – 3.5 lb good quality Angus beef or sliced braising steak
1/2 cup sunflower oil
3 medium onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
3 large carrots, sliced
8 – 9 oz Portabellini mushrooms
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
8.5 fl oz – 1 cup strong lager, such as Stella Artois
1 bay leaf, tied together with Parsley sprigs, Thyme sprigs
3 strips minced lemon zest
1/4 cup plain flour, seasoned with Salt + Pepper to taste
8 oz plain flour
Pinch of salt
4 oz cold butter, diced
1 egg, beaten
No nutrition information available
Remove any tough fibers running through the meat before cutting it into chunks. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large saucepan, set over a medium heat. Take a large handful of meat and lightly coat in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess before adding it to the pan in a single layer. Fry briskly, turning regularly, until browned on all sides. Transfer the meat to a dish with a slotted spoon and continue to color the remaining steak in batches, adding a little more oil if you need it.
When all the meat has been browned, add another 3 tbsp oil to the pan and lower the heat. Stir in the onions, garlic, celery and carrots and gently saute for 10 minutes or until soft. Increase the heat slightly and mix in the mushrooms, followed by the brown sugar. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the remaining seasoned flour and cook for a further 4 minutes.
Mix in the vinegar, followed by the lager, 13 1/2 oz water, cloves, herbs and lemon zest along with the meat with its juices. Bring up to the boil, then lower the heat and season to taste. Cover and simmer very gently for 1 1/2 hours. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then leave to cool.
While the meat is cooking, make the pastry. Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor. Process in short bursts until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl and mix in a few tablespoons cold water. Mix with a fork and once the mixture starts to ball together, tip on to a floured surface and lightly knead.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface so that it is slightly larger than the top of your pie dish - use a large one with a capacity of around 67 1/2 oz. Use the dish as a template and cut out the pastry. Gently slip onto some greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and prick the surface with a fork. Refrigerate. Re-knead and roll out the trimmings. Cut into a 3/4 inch wide ribbon and line the rim of your pie dish. If you are not making the pie ahead of time, preheat the oven now to 375°F
Once the filling is cool, remove the herbs and tip the mixture into the pie dish. Brush the pastry rim with beaten egg. Gently lay the pastry lid on top and seal the edge with a fork. The pie can be chilled or frozen at this stage. If freezing, make sure that it is completely defrosted before baking - it will take about 32 hours in a normal fridge.
Brush the pie with egg and bake for 15 minutes at 375°F before reducing the temperature to 350°F and cooking for 25 minutes longer. Serve piping hot with unpeeled potatoes and cabbage or peas.