The perfect steak pie

The perfect steak pie

I love Scottish traditions. Especially when it comes to food. What day is it, Friday? Well you’ll be having a fish tea. Burns Night? Haggis it is. And New Year’s Day wouldn’t be New Year’s Day without a steak pie.

Although my Hogmanay is always spent doing the traditional thing of gutting my house to make sure it’s spotless for the New Year, I find the time to make this amazing steak and mushroom pie.

I know a lot of people buy their New Year steak pie from the butchers but this recipe is so delicious and simple, and I cook the meat on Hogmanay so it only needs topped with pastry on New Year’s Day (which I’m sure even my fuzzy head will be able to handle).

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Ingredients

  • 20g dried mixed wild mushrooms, soaked in 200ml boiling water
  • 1.5kg Scotch Beef braising steak cut into 3cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 6-8 large flat mushrooms cut into quarters
  • 1 litre hot beef stock (made from cubes if you wish)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500g ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 small egg, beaten (to glaze)

Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan/ gas mark 3. Put the dried mushrooms in a wee bowl and cover with 200ml boiling water, then set aside. Fry the onions gently for 5 to 10 minutes until they’re softened then pop them into an oven-proof casserole dish. Then take your mushrooms and quarter them. (Look at these big beauties!)

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Take a freezer bag and fill it with the seasoned flour, then put the meat in the bag and jiggle it around to coat all the meat. (Yes, as you can see I stupidly ran out of freezer bags but I assure you it’s much easier than coating each chunk of meat individually, like I did).

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Shake off any excess then fry the meat in the remaining oil in the pan. You need to do this in batches until all the beef is well browned. This can take a bit of time – but patience is a virtue, Suzie. And the result is well worth it.

Once the meat is browned, pour the beef stock and the mushroom soaking liquid into the pan and stir to gather up all the sticky, flavoury bits from the bottom. Then pour this mixture over the beef in the casserole dish along with the soaked mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf.

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Bring to the boil then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for about 1¼ hours or until the meat is lovely and tender.

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It’s time to lightly fry the quartered mushrooms in a little oil and set them aside until the meat is cooked. Then stir the mushrooms into the meaty mixture and spoon it into a 2 litre traditional pie dish, leaving the sauce in the pan. Allow the meat to cool completely (which will be the perfect time to root around and find that cheeky bay leaf and any thyme sprigs lurking in there).

Now you can deal with the gravy – it’ll probably be a little thin so I set the casserole dish over a medium heat without the lid for the gravy to reduce and thicken. Spoon some of this into the pie dish to just sufficiently coat the meat and reserve the rest to serve with the pie.

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This is where I stop on Hogmanay, ready to just pop on the pastry on New Year’s Day (but don’t worry, I’ll show you now so you can see how it turns out). Roll the pastry to about the thickness of a pound coin, seal it around the edges and use any excess pastry to make it look pretty. Then, give it an egg wash, pierce a hole in the top for the steam and pop it in the oven for 50 mins, starting at 200C/180C fan/gas 6, and turning down to 180/160 fan/gas 4 after the first 15-20 minutes cooking.

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On Hogmanay, once the pie is organised, I can get on with bringing in the bells, Auld Lang Syne and first footing. It’s luckiest to be first footed by a tall, dark and handsome man (which is actually welcomed all year round at Chez Suzie). But unfortunately for me, the most unlucky person to be first footed by is a red-headed women. So I promise to be the last one gracing anyone’s doorstep till at least the 3rd to be on the safe side.

There’s little else to say except – And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere, and gie’s a hand o’ thine. And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught, for auld lang syne.

All the best when it comes.

Suzie x

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