STEAK AND MUSHROOM PIE
Makes 4 small pies
700g stewing steak, cut into 2cm pieces
175g of chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped (OR 200g kidneys, chopped into small pieces with the centre sinew removed)
30g plain flour
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 small bay leaves
500ml beef stock
Couple of shakes of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
4 sheets ready-made puff pastry
50g butter, for greasing
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
· Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
· Place the chopped steak into a large bowl and sprinkle with the plain flour (add the chopped kidneys here too if you’re using them). Season generously with salt and pepper and mix.
· Heat a large casserole dish and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once hot add the steak (and kidneys if you’re using them) and fry until all the pieces are brown. This should take around 10 minutes. You may want to do it in batches depending on the size of your pan.
· Once the meat has been browned, removed from the pan and set aside.
· Add the onions to the same pan with a dash of oil, fry for 5 minutes before adding the mushrooms. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, until the onion has softened. .
· Add the steak back into the pan with the mushrooms. Add the thyme and bay leaves and stir. Add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 1 ½ hours until the meat is tender.
· Allow to cool. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems.
· Roll out the pastry sheets a little and cut out 4 circles approximately 14cm each - this will depend on the size of your pie dishes; the circles need to be big enough to line the pie dishes with a little extra hanging over the sides to allow for shrinkage when they cook. Then cut another set for the lids that are approx. 6-9 cm, again this will depend on the size of your individual dishes so make sure to check they’ll fit!
· Lightly grease the insides of your pie dishes with a little butter – I find it easiest to use a clean piece of kitchen paper for this.
· Push the larger pastry circles gently into the pie dishes so they reach the bottom.
· Fill the pie dishes with the mixture. Use the beaten egg yolk to brush the pastry edges and top with the smaller pastry lid.
· Crimp the edges of the pie with fork prongs to lightly to seal the pastry. You may still have some excess pastry hanging over the edge of the dishes, if there’s a lot, let an adult help you to trim slightly with kitchen scissors. It’s okay to leave a little though as the pastry will shrink a bit in the oven.
· If you like, you can gather together any leftover pastry, roll it out and use to make shapes like initials. Place the letters on top of the pies.
· Brush the top of the pies with the remaining egg wash.
· Place on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.