There are few things more heart-warming and tummy-expanding than a good pie – particularly with gravy, and mash. Whatever you put between your pastry, it’s a thing of sheer joy.
But here’s an interesting thing. According to the search phrases most often typed in by Brits looking for pies, actual pie isn’t top of the list. And we’d have lost money on this.
No.1 is actually ‘Cottage Pie’ (which is not a reel PIE as any fule kno) with the first actual pie-pie coming in at No.4 with Chicken and Leek. If you’re interested in seeing the full top ten, it’s at the bottom.
But first, to pie! See, when we think of pie we think of stuff like steak and kidney, or a nice veggie option. But definitely with pastry. And gravy. So that’s what we’re bringing you today – a super easy pie recipe that’ll warm the cockles. Tuck in with a good red wine, and probably a snooze on the sofa afterwards…
EASY PEASY STEAK PIE
3 tbsp oil
1kg diced braising steak
2 onions, chopped
3 tbsp plain flour
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 beef stock cubes mixed with 600ml boiling water
1 x 225g ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
1 x 375g ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3. Heat half the oil in a good sized casserole dish (a Le Creuset type thing is perfect) and brown the meat. Fry in batches so it doesn’t get crowded and go soggy, and remove from the heat and set aside. In the same pan (don’t wash it) add a bit more of the oil and gently fry the onions until they’re softly coloured.
Sprinkle the flour over the top of the onions and stir, then stick the meat back in, juices and all, together with the ketchup, stock and seasoning, cover with lid and simmer for a good couple of hours. You can make this whenever you like – chill it for 3-4 days or freeze it. If you want to add kidneys use lambs’ not beefs, and give them the same pre-treatment as the beef. Same with mushrooms.
OK so feel free to make your own pastry but this is called Easy Peasy for a reason. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7. Grease a 24-26cm pie dish and line with the shortcrust pastry. Don’t use puff pastry as the base or it’s just going to be unpleasantly soggy and greasy. Blind bake this a bit if you fancy but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. Tip the filling in and top with the puff pastry, sealing the two pastry layers with brushed beaten egg and pressing all round the edges. Go crazy with the designs using your trimmings, brush the top with more egg and pop a couple of slits in to let the steam out. And in it goes. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and ready to scoff. Let stand for a while before serving.
HERE’S THE TOP TEN PIES SEARCHED BY BRITS ON THE ‘NET
- Cottage Pie
- Fish Pie
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Chicken & Leek Pie
- Chicken and Mushroom Pie
- Steak and Ale Pie
- Meat and Potato Pie
- Pork Pie
- Steak and Kidney Pie
- Corned Beef Pie