Winter comfort food at its best.
Ready in 5 hours 30 minutes
- 5 rashers of smoked bacon
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 1 stick of celery
- 250g mushrooms
- 1 tbsp butter
- 600g stewing beef, diced
- 2 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 250ml red wine
- 600ml beef stock
- 30cm x 20cm ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1.2kg potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic
Cut the streaky bacon into small squares. Peel and dice the carrots and onion. Wash and dice the celery then wash and quarter the mushrooms.
Place the butter into a large saucepan and put it over a high heat. Add the bacon when the butter is bubbling, then after a few minutes add the beef chunks. Leave the pan alone while the beef browns well, only turning it when it’s well caramelised.
Scoop the beef and bacon out of the pan once it has browned (best to use a slotted spoon so the butter and bacon fat remains), then add the diced carrot, onion and celery into the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and fry the veg gently for 10 minutes until it begins to brown. Add in the mushrooms, stir them in and fry for another minute.
Add the beef and bacon back into the pan with the flour and stir to coat everything.
Turn the heat up high and pour in the red wine. Let it bubble and reduce by half. Pour in the beef stock and 200ml water then bring everything to a boil, immediately turning the heat down low, putting a lid on it and simmering on the lowest heat for 3 hours, checking occasionally that it isn’t sticking.
Remove the lid from the beef pan when the meat is tender enough to fall apart and continue cooking to reduce the consistency of the sauce until it’s thick enough to not run all over the plate. Transfer the beef into a 2 litre pie dish, then cool in the fridge and when it’s cooled preheat an oven to 200ºC.
Beat the egg in a small dish and brush it around the outside of the pie dish with the cooled beef inside, then unroll the pastry, drape over and press on the edges to stick. Trim around the outside edges with a knife, cutting down towards the board, then squish the edges with the prongs of a fork to give decorative marks, but also to make sure it’s stuck. Then poke a hole in the middle to allow steam to escape.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg and bake for 40 minutes until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the filling is piping hot, then remove and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
While the pie bakes, peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters or halves so that they are all the same size and about the same size as golf balls. Grab a bowl and toss the potatoes with oil, salt and pepper if you prefer. Tip them onto a roasting tray and drizzle with a little more oil. Place the garlic cloves (still in their skins) around the potatoes and place in the oven for 45 minutes, on a shelf underneath the pie. Simply give them a turn every 15 minutes, until golden brown all over. When the pie comes out to rest for 10 minutes, move the roast potatoes to the top of the oven.
Serve the portions of the pie with roast potatoes and whatever boiling or steamed veg you fancy.