I’ve been craving pie. Here in Australia, a special place is reserved for the meat pie, a classic concoction of pastry, mince and gravy sold at milk bars, bakeries and convenience stores, and most especially, at the footy. But the pie I’ve been craving is more than that. Melt in your mouth meat, thick rich tasty gravy, tender flaky pastry. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
I found some gravy beef on sale last week, a cheap cut of meat even cheaper. So I scoured my recipe collection for a worthy recipe. And I think I found it in Jamie Oliver’s tribute to last year’s Royal Wedding between Kate and Will, a delicious casserole of beef, beer, barley and herbs. He used beef shin, but I substituted the gravy beef I had, which worked fine. I think it would work with any slow-cooking friendly cut of beef—chuck steak, gravy beef, blade steak or shin.
I also substituted a different pastry to the suet pastry he used, replacing it with Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry. It’s quick to make and results in the most beautiful light flaky pastry.
And the end result? Just as magnificent as I envisioned!
Magnificent meat pie
Adapted from Jamie’s Great Britain, by Jamie Oliver
Serves 8-102 Tbs olive oil 1 Tbs unsalted butter 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and chopped 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked 3 bay leaves 3 red onions, chopped 1 kg gravy beef sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbs tomato paste 440ml can of guinness 1.5 L homemade or good quality beef stock 2 Tbs plain flour 140g pearl barley 1 Tbs dijon mustard 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce 100g cheddar cheese, grated Sour cream pastry (see recipe below) 1 egg yolk 2 tsp milk
Put olive oil, butter and herbs in large casserole pot over high heat. When butter has melted, add onions, meat and a large pinch of salt and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add tomato paste, Guinness, stock and flour, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally.
Add the pearl barley, replace cover and cook for another hour, stirring occasionally. Then remove lid and turn up heat to medium low, and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring frequently until meat is falling apart and gravy has thickened.
Preheat oven to 220C.
Stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cheese. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Pour into large pie dish, approximately 25cm by 30 cm and 5 cm deep. Brush edges of dish with an egg wash made from egg yolk and milk whisked together with a pinch of salt.
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 5 mm thick and big enough to just fit over dish. Carefully place on top of pie. Pinch edges down and brush with egg wash.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 220C until pastry is golden. Serve with green veges and homemade chips.
Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry
From Maggie’s Harvest, by Maggie Beer200g cold unsalted butter, roughly chopped 250g plain flour 120g/125 ml sour cream
Put butter and flour into bowl of food processor and pulse briefly until mixture has texture of breadcrumbs.
Add sour cream and pulse again until mixture just comes together. Turn out onto board and press into a ball.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until ready to use.
1. You can replace the pastry with store bought shortcrust or puff pastry if you don’t want to make your own.