Some nights simply call for a pie.
A few months back on a freezing Saturday, we agreed that we were heading for one of those nights.
And given that the finest pairing to a pie are peas, it was going to be hard to look past this pie from Neil Perry.
It is a pretty down-the-line pie recipe though that is kind of the point for “must have pie” nights. Beef that is falling apart, a cracking gravy and then those peas.
(Plus a proper mash where we diced in a raw eschallot – trust me, it’s brilliant.)
Open a bottle of red, put on a movie and boom, there’s pie night done!
1.25kg beef chuck, diced and cut into 3cm cubes, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp plain flour
80ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
200ml red wine
200ml veal or chicken stock
150gm frozen green baby peas, defrosted
1 handful mint leaves, chopped
1 – 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked with 1 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 160c. Toss the seasoned beef with the flour until evenly coated.
- Heat the oil in a heavy pan over a high heat. Add beef in batches and cook for about five minutes per batch until well browned, then remove. Add more oil to the pan if it dries out.
- Add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the tomato paste and 1 tbsp flour and cook for a minute or so. Add the red wine and stock and stir until the mixture boils.
- Return the beef to the pan, cover the pan with foil and cook in the oven for at least two hours or until tender. Stir through the peas and mint. Allow to cool, then chill in the fridge until cold. (“Warm filling will ruin the pastry.”)
- When the beef filling is ready, heat the oven to 180c. Divide the pie filling among pie dishes and top each with a piece of pastry large enough to hand over the edge of each dish.
- Press the pastry down firmly around the edges of the dish and brush evenly with the egg yolk. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, until puffed and golden.