These not-so-little guys are incredibly versatile and promise to fill up tummies as a compliment to a cosy dinner party, or your pending summer picnics galore! Quick, simply, and indulgent to taste, here’s my favourite pie recipe just for you.
Serves 3 (makes 3 individual pies)
- Totally “cheated”! For convenience we used one frozen block of ‘Jus-Rol’ Short Crust Pastry (500g) – defrosted.
- 3 mini loaf tins (ours are size: 9.5cm x 6.8cm & 4.2cm deep).
- 1 egg for making an egg wash for the pie tops before baking.
- 350g of diced, lean steak.
- 200ml of your favourite ale (we chose Greene King Suffolk Springer Ale for its deep, almost toffee rich flavour).
- Half a large, diced red onion.
- 4 large, diced chestnut mushrooms.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil.
- 4tbsp plain flour.
- 200ml of your favourite beef stock/jus. We bought pre made, jellified jus for thickness, however you can use 2 regular beef stock cubes mixed.
- A generous tablespoon of horseradish sauce.
- A handful of fresh thyme.
*BEFORE WE START, MARINADE YOUR BEEF IN YOUR CHOICE OF ALE FOR AN HOUR. LEAVE OVERNIGHT FOR AN EVEN DEEPER FLAVOUR TO THE MEAT*
- Once marinated, strain the beef from its boozy bath, and keep the ale to one side. It’s time to brow the beef. Add your diced beef to a lightly oiled, medium sized pan and cook on a high heat until browned entirely. Set aside.
- Taking the same pan, lightly oil once more, and add the onion and mushrooms still on the high heat to get them cooking good! Before any potential onion burning, turn the hob down to a low heat for 5 mins until both ingredients are well cooked.
- Now add the flour to the mix, and stir until the flour turns brown (a slight gravy should be forming now!).
- Return the meat and any juices back into the pan to join the onion and mushrooms, and mix well. Pour in the ale from marinating, as well as your chosen beef stock/jus, and your hearty helping of horseradish sauce. Further add some sprigs of rosemary, and cover the pot on a low simmer for around 45 minutes to an hour.
TIP: IF YOUR MIX IS LOOKING A LITTLE TOO WATERY, SIEVE IN SOME PLAIN FLOUR TO THICKEN
*GREASE YOUR PIE TINS WITH A LITTLE BUTTER TO AVOID STICKING*
- As the filling simmers away, roll out your pastry block and take your mini pie tins. Sit them open top down on the pastry (you want a thickness of no more than a £1 coin), and cut around them, leaving around 5cm excess edging.
- Do this for all tins, then gently line each of their newly made “pastry cut outs”, and remove any excess pastry flapping over the edge of each tin. Any excess can be rolled together and made into the pie tops or decoration!
- Cut out pie tops from your remaining pastry, ready to seal in the tasty meatiness!
The Final Pie:
*PRE HEAT YOUR OVEN AT THIS POINT TO 220C/200C fan/gas 7*
- Once your pie filling is cooked, and the meat is tender, remove from the heat and begin filling your pastry cases, in their tins, ready to bake.
- Once filled, pop on their pastry tops, and pinch to seal around the edges.
- Make yourself some decorative leaves, or whatever you wish for the top of your pies!
- Once sitting on a baking tray, give each pie top a brush with beaten egg, and pierce a small hole in each to allow steam to escape in the oven.
- It’s time to bake! Add the mini pies to your pre heated oven, and enjoy the show as they turn golden in the next 40 minutes.
Once your pies are looking beautiful and tempting, remove from the oven and allow to rest for up to 10 minutes.
Serve with lashings of thick, beef gravy accompanied by creamy mash potato or thick cut chips, and your favourite veg for a truly comforting supper.
Refrigerate a batch in cling film to take with you in a picnic hamper the following day! Serve alongside your favourite cheeses (I recommend a crumbly stilton), mustard, more horseradish, and pickled onions for a summer day picnic feast.
Crack open your favourite summer ale or cider too, if you wish, to wash it all down!