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Pies are one of my all time favourite items whether I'm searching for a quick fix or entertaining special guests. There so versatile from the varying fillings & styles of pastry, here we are staying quite traditional making homemade pastry (optional) with the addition of a little luxury using ruby Port to counteract the savoury stout & aromatic spices, the end result being indulgent & rich hunks of beef in a rather classy stout & Port gravy, delicious!


Method For The Short Crust Pastry

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl then add the salt, butter & lard.
  2. Gently rub the fats into the flour until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the beaten egg & a little water mix together to create a dough, adding too much water or overworking will make the pastry tough.
  4. Wrap in cling film & chill for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 2 days (if you want to pre make the pastry).

Method for the beef

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C or 140°C fan assisted (gas 3).
  2. In a heavy based casserole dish over a medium high heat sear the beef & vegetables until nicely browned, remove & keep to one side.
  3. Add the tomato paste, mustard, spices, stout & port & reduce by half, then pour over the stock, bring to a boil & thicken with the corn flour mix before placing the beef & vegetables back in the casserole dish.
  4. Place in the oven covered & braise for 3 hours, turning after 2 hours, basting regularly with the stock or until the beef is tender when pierced with a skewer.
  5. Remove the beef & vegetables from the stock, place on a deep serving dish & cover with foil.
  6. Reduce the stock until you reach a rich sauce like consistency, season to taste then, pull the beef using 2 forks then bind in a little reduced sauce with the chopped parsley leaving any excess to serve with the finished pie.

To serve

Serve with thick cut Parmesan wedges & tender stem broccoli or stay more traditional with glazed carrots, mashed potatoes & extra f&co mustard at the table.