I love a good pie, I really do. Who doesn't love the comfort of buttery pastry on these cold winter nights?
Luckily for me, my boyfriend is also a big advocate of pies. We've started up a weekly pie night on a Monday, to help chase the Monday Blues away - and it's been a raging success. We usually swing between three favourites: steak and stilton, creamy chicken and, finally, cheese and bovril.
Cheese and bovril?! I know what you might be thinking. Yes, cheese and bovril makes a cracking pie. However, today's post is dedicated to my favourite steak and stilton pie and I'm going to share my recipe with you.
This is my first recipe post so...things may go a bit haywire. I'm a bit vague with the measurements but, really, the best meals come out of eyeballing measurements and going with what suits you tastes, right? Maybe you find stilton a little overpowering - add a bit less than I do. Or maybe you're veggie - go for Quorn steak strips instead of meat.
This recipe is based on the steak and stilton pie which is sold at a pub near us, which boasts the country's best pies. I know that's a big claim but, literally, they were voted the country's best pies. Their steak and stilton was always my favourite so I decided to try and come up with something similar at home. And this is what happened:
Pastry (CONFESSION: I buy pre-made pastry because I'm lazy but if you want to make your own there are a tonne of recipes out there)
Diced steak 750g (750g makes two BIG pies which do me and my boyfrend for dinner and lunch the next day)
Rosemary (I use dried...fresh is probably better)
Stilton (as little or as much as you like!)
Beef stock (cubes, fresh - any will work)
Cornflour (to thicken the sauce, if required)
1 egg (to glaze the pies)
Butter (to grease the tins)
Of course you could add mushrooms, carrots, red wine - anything. I would add a dash of red wine but we, er, appear to have drunk it all...
- Pre-heat your oven to 180
- Remove fat from steak to your taste. I personally lop most of it off but I know some prefer the flavour it adds.
- Heat some butter in a pan and add a sprinkling of rosemary. In a minute or so your kitchen will begin to smell absolutely amazing.
- Wait for the butter to melt and add the steak. Cook slowly on a lower heat for more tender steak.
- While the steak's cooking I use this time to grease my pie dishes. I'm sure there are lots of tips online about this but, basically, my advice is this: grease the hell out of your dishes. I whack some butter on greaseproof paper and rub it over every inch of the dishes, especially the rim (man there is no way to write that sentence that doesn't sound exceptionally inappropriate), you'll be glad you did later on!
- When the steak is nicely browned I add a couple more shakes of rosemary and two beef stock cubes. There will be some liquid in the pan from the butter and beef but add more if you need to. Once the stock cubes have reduced stir well.
- At this stage I'll roll out my pastry and line my two pie dishes so I don't have to faff around once the filling's ready to be added.
- I leave the beef simmering in the stock for about five more minutes, then check the thickness of the sauce. For me it's often too thin so I add corn flour to thicken it - usually two tea spoons but do add this gradually if you're not sure. There's no hard and fast rule about the sauce, just add gradually and stir until the sauce is at your desired thickness.
- When the steak is alllllmost ready I chuck in about half of the chopped stilton so it can melt in with the meat.
- As soon as your stilton is melted add the filling to the pie dishes. After everything's added I
sprinkle the rest of the stilton on top.
- Add the pastry lid to the pie, be careful to seal the edges properly. Cut a small hole in the centre of the lid to let any steam escape.
- Use a pastry brush to glaze the lid of your pie with egg.
- And that's it! Simply pop your pies into the oven for fifteen - twenty five minutes (depending on the size of your pies - ours usually take about twenty two minutes at 185) and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy when they're ready!