As the seasons change, we also change the way we eat. We need warming food to bolster our bodies against the cold weather. We eat rich and hearthy meals rather than fresh light ones.
Stews and soups are the best things to eat when the temperature dips. Good old fashioned meat pies are also good. The contrast of the hot filling and the crisp flaky crust are certainly to be enjoyed.
I like my pie pastry very crispy. I hate soggy, wet crusts. To avoid that, I made open pies. Basically, it is a deconstructed pie. The pie crust is baked separately and only joins the filling on the plate. You get the best of both worlds here because the crust is perfectly crisp and fluffy and the filling is piping hot.
This simple dish looks extra special because of the crust which is not hard to make as it is made with store bought pastry. Simple sides such as potatoes and buttered vegetables will make a perfect meal for simple family suppers or entertaining.
This recipe makes 4 servings.
Ingredients for the filling:
2 tbsps. plain flour
1/2 tsp. dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. paprika
500 gms. of beef rump, cubed
2 tbsps. olive oil + 2 tbsps. butter
1 large or 2 medium sized onions, cut into large chunks
1 c. water
15-20 chestnut mushrooms, quartered
Put the flour in a mixing bowl and add in the herbs, celery salt and paprika. Mix well. Add in the cubed beef and mix thoroughly.
Heat up a sauté pan and fry the beef in batches until well sealed and browned. Take off the pan.
In the same pan and using the same oil (add a bit more butter if needed), add the onions and sauté until translucent. Put the beef back in and add the water. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat until very tender.
Add in the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes.
Spoon into 4 individual containers or a big dish (1 litre capacity).
Top with the cooked crust.
Ingredients for the crust:
Pre-heat the oven to 350° F/180° C.
1 pack ready to roll or ready rolled puff pastry
beaten egg yolk
Roll out the pastry to 1/4" thickness. Invert the container you are going to use on to the rolled pastry and trace the edge with the tip of a sharp knife to make a crust that would sit nicely on your pie.
Score the top with whatever decoration you like. Brush with the beaten egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
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