Nov 4, 2008

AnglophileLV’s authentic Beef and Beer Pie

For the past two weeks I’ve been in England enjoying the people, the architecture, the shopping—and the food. Oh yes, the food. Even though the Brits are leaning away from their traditional fare (trading bubble and squeak for a surprising obsession with risotto), I am still quite taken with Bangers and mash, roasted game birds, sausages, and yes, Meat Pies. The meat pie is essentially beef, pork or chicken cooked with onions, carrots and mushrooms to form a thick brown chunky gravy which is then glopped into a puff pastry pie crust and baked to a golden flaky delicious buttery….droool… oh god it’s good. Now that I’m back in the cholesterol-conscious U.S., I’ve been going into withdrawals. Here is my recipe for a traditional London Meat Pie – best enjoyed with copious amounts of beer.

--Anglophile LV

Flakey Crust:
2 cups Flour
1 cup butter
1tsp salt
6 drops lemon juice
Cold water

1. Mix flour and salt.
2. Then mix with butter and lemon, with enough cold water to bind the ingredients together (otherwise it gets very crumbly).
3. Roll out lengthwise and fold over 3 times. Roll out again, and fold 3 times again. Repeat this around 4 times (it’s supposed to help with making it flakey). Now your dough is ready to use.

1 lb beef, chopped up to be bite sized (whatever cut is cheapest)
½ onion, chopped
1 russet potato, chopped
2 carrots, chopped small
1 leek chopped
4 cremini mushrooms, chopped
4 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic
2 Tb Worcestershire sauce
2 beef bouillon cubes
3-4 Tb flour, mixed with
½ cup beer
1 egg yolk mixed with 1tb water
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Brown beef with onion, garlic and thyme in a large pot.
2. Add potatoes, carrots, leek, mushrooms, beef bouillon cubes and Worcestershire sauce.
3. Pour in enough water to barely cover the potatoes.
4. Cover and simmer 45 minutes (or until potatoes are fork-tender).
5. Add flour/beer mixture and stir until mixture boils and thickens to a thick gravy. Add pepper – you may not need salt since the bouillon is quite salty already.
6. Let filling cool until lukewarm.
7. Roll out pastry and put into a deep dish pie plate –OR- do like I did, and make little individual meat pies out of small loaf pans. Roll out the pastry and press the tops of the loaf pans into it, outlining your pie tops. Press the rest of the pastry into the pan(s) to form the lower crust, and top with the other pastry you just cut out.
8. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
9. Remove pie(s) and brush the tops with the egg wash.
10. Continue baking for about 15 minutes, or until crust is golden.

No comments: