Winter is once again in Australia and here in Perth it is raining and very windy. This winter pie is simply stunning and tasty, and if ever there was a winter stomach warmer this is it. You will want to make it over and over again these winter months.

In the winter there are a great amount of crispy vegetables in the markets. I like to buy and serve this pie with winter baby peas and baby carrots. These vegetables make a tasty contrast to this hot luscious pie.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 kilo beef chuck steak or gravy beef, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 12 pickled baby onions
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into small cubes
  • 4 celery sticks, cut into chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 400ml can of Guinness
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons pickled juice from the baby onions
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method for the Filling

  • Heat half of the oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over high heat. Add half the beef and cook until brown all over, transfer to a plate and repeat the procedure with the remaining beef.
  • Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring for 2 minutes then add the tomato paste. Cook for another 3 minutes until the vegetables are lightly brown.
  • Return the beef to the pan with the garlic and flour and cook stirring, for 2 minutes or until well combined.
  • Add the Guinness, stock, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves and bring to the boil.
  • Add salt and pepper but not too much because the stock will reduce and it could become salty.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven at 180C for one hour.
  • Uncover the beef, stir it well and then add the baby onions, their juice and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Cover the pan again with the lid and cook the beef for another hour or until the beef is tender.
  • Now the sauce has thickened you can season it again with salt and pepper.
  • Let the beef sauce cool down before you cover it with the pastry.

Method for the Pie

  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Spoon the beef mixture into an ovenproof dish.
  • Place the pastry sheet or sheets on a clean work surface and cut it 5cm bigger than your dish.
  • Arrange the pastry over the beef mixture and tuck with a spoon the excess pastry. Make a hole in the pastry in the centre of the pie. This will let the steam come out when the pie is cooking.
  • You will also have bits and pieces of pastry, cut them into leaf shapes and arrange over the pie for decoration.
  • Whisk the egg yolk with a bit of milk in a bowl, and season.
  • Brush the pastry with the egg mixture.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and puffed.

Tips

  • This pie is very simple to make and the filling can be made ahead of time. The flavours will intensify.
  • Do not put the pastry while the beef sauce is too hot, let it cool down a little. Do not let the beef cool down completely when you put the pastry on top, the reason for this is that the pastry takes 30 to 40 minutes to cook and sometimes the filling needs more time to warm up.

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