Chef Alex from Fooditude knows exactly what sort of hearty meals can bring joy in households during the cold winter months. There’s nothing quite as rustic as a homemade pie, that’s why we were over the moon when Alex gave us not one, but two pie recipes to share with you. This week we’re delighted to provide the first of Alex’s pie recipes – a steak and red wine pie with suet crust. Next week we will be releasing Alex’s special recipe for a ‘humble’ pie.
Why is this recipe so awesome?
The internet is full to the brim with quick and easy recipes, but sometimes we all need a good cooking challenge. This pie recipe offers just that. If you’re stuck indoors on a rainy day, why not dedicate a few hours to mastering this awesome pie recipe? Plus this recipe will give you two pies – meaning you can chuck one of them in the freezer as a treat for your future self.
500-600g silverside or beef topside (diced into 1 ½ inch cubes)*
1 good sized sprig of thyme (tied together)
2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
5 Cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1 tsp Dried chipotle chillies
1 ½ Medium onions (diced)
1 Cube of chicken stock
2 tbsp Tomato puree
1 Cube of beef stock
200g Swede (diced)
1 Large leek (diced)
2 tsp Fennel seed
200ml Red wine
3 Carrots (diced)
2 tsp Paprika
100g Beef (or vegetable) suet
1 Egg (beaten for the glaze)
Generous pinch of salt
100g Unsalted butter
1 Egg (medium size)
*Stewing/braising steak will work fine too!
Step 1: Making the pastry
Lightly butter and lightly flour two shallow dishes that are roughly 8 inches in diameter. Place in the fridge, ready for the ‘Cutting the pastry’ steps later on.
Mix together flour, butter, suet and salt by rubbing them with your hands, if you have a mixer – use that instead. Keep mixing until you have crumbs.
Add water and mix it in. Once you’ve done that, work an egg into the pastry.
Work the mixture by hand until you have a smooth paste. Be careful not to over do it!
Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour. Whilst you wait, it’s time to get to work on cooking the filling!
Step 2: Cooking the filling
Toast fennel seeds and Szechuan peppercorns in the oven for around 10 minutes at 200 degrees, or until they become fragrant. Once complete, grind them up in a pestle and mortar.
Fry the beef until it’s well browned all round, then remove from the pan and place into a bowl.
Give the pan a little time to cool down, then add the spices and cook until fragrant. Afterwards, add the vegetables and cook them gently with the lid on the pan for around 10 mins until they’ve softened. Stir occasionally.
Add the tomato puree into the pan, mix it thoroughly and turn up the heat. When the tomato puree starts to clump up and stick to the bottom of the pan, add in the red wine. Stir well, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the flavours.
Add in both the stock cubes with a little extra water and let them dissolve, then bring to a simmer.
Add the beef back into the pan and season to taste. Cover the pan (making sure it’s ovenproof) and put in the oven at 150 degrees for around 2 hours.
Check the pan and stir occasionally throughout the 2 hours – you might need to add more water as the sauce evaporates. When the beef is starting to fall apart, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Step 3: Cutting the pastry
Whilst the beef is cooking, remove the pastry from the fridge.
Lightly flour a work surface and divide the pastry into 3 parts.
Roll two pieces of the pastry into 10 inch circles for the bases.
Remove the two floured pie dishes from the fridge.
Line the dish up with the 10 inch circle of pastry, with about half an inch of excess pastry hanging over the dish (to be used to join the lid with).
With the remaining piece of pastry, roll out two disks with a nine inch diameter for the pie lids.
Place all the cut pastry back into the fridge for another 20 mins.
Step 4: Bringing it all together
Turn the oven up to 180 degrees.
Take the pie bases and lids out from the fridge.
Fill the pies with the filling (it should have cooled, but not be cold).
Lightly egg wash the rim of the pastry.
Place the lids on top of the bases and pinch the corners on tight with your index finger and thumb.
Glaze the tops with the beaten egg and cut a slit on top of each pie lid.
Place in the oven and take out once the pastry appears golden brown.
Allow it to cool for 5 mins before serving.