Bourke Street Bakery’s Humble Beef Pie
Makes: 6 or 1 family pie
A few years ago I cooked a copycat of the Bourke Street Bakery Pork and Fennel sausage roll and wow, there is a reason people line up on a Saturday morning for their bread and pastries.
This beef pie by the Bourke Street Bakery is less famous, though it is a very good, classic chunky beef pie and clearly, very bakery: the vegetables are tossed and you’re left with a classic, chunky beef filling.
Like the very best you could expect from a bakery.
Ensure you retain enough liquid and substitute corn flour is you do not have potato flour.
Open a big red, and this is what a good night in should look like.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
150gm onions, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
150gm carrots, cute into 1cm cubes
150gm celery, cut into 1cm cubes
375gm tomatoes, roughly chopped
55ml malt vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
900gm cubed beef cheeks, trimmed of fat, cut into 2 – 3cm cubes*
1 tsp potato flour
1 quantity savoury shortcrust pastry
1/2 quantity puff pastry
Egg wash, for brushing
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over low heat and cook the onion, garlic and thyme for 5 minutes until softened. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato, vinegar, salt and pepper and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring to combine.
- Add the beef to the pan and pour in enough water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 hours, skimming and stirring every 20 minutes or so, until the meat is just tender but still with texture. The beef should not be falling apart and the liquid should be noticeably thicker. Do not overcook the beef, as it will continue to cook when it cools down and will be cooked again when you bake the pie itself. If the beef cheek is poorly trimmed, you may end up with pieces that are mainly gristle – these pieces should be spooned out of the mix and thrown away.
- When the beef pieces are just tender, remove to a plate and set aside. Strain the cooking liquid and return to the warm pan over high heat.
- Continue cooking the liquid until reduced by about one-third. Mix together the potato flour and 2 tsp water and add to the cooking liquid, stirring/whisking well to combine. Return the beef to the liquid. Season with more salt and white pepper, to taste. Pour the mixture into a container with with a large surface area, to cool the mix down as quickly as possible, stirring every now and then as it cools.
- Preheat the oven to 200c. Rollout the shortcrust pastry and use it to line the base and sides of six 12.5cm pie tins/one large pie tin. Roll out the puff pastry ready to neatly cover each tin.
- Spoon the beef mixture into the pastry-lined pie tins/tin, filling them to the brim. To attach the puff pastry lids, brush the rim of the pastry base and lid with a little egg wash and lay the lid over the base. Pinch gently between your thumb and index finger to make a good seal around the circumference edge. Brush the top of the pie lid with egg wash and make a small hole in the middle to allow steam to escape. Reduce the over temperature to 180c and bake the pies for 30 – 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the pies from the tins and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
* Two points to make here. We substituted a gravy beef and the effect was fine, though based on experience, beef cheek would be even better. And don’t cut the cubes smaller that 2cm. You are going to be fishing for the beef amongst all the vegetables after 2 hours of braising and so the bigger, the easier and faster at this point in the recipe.