Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Beef & Butternut Squash Pie

Please forgive my delay in posting dear readers, but we lost internet connection for more than a few days due to the recent heavy rainstorms and flooding in East Devon. This pie was something I baked to help us keep morale up as we huddled in the house for days waiting for the storms to end. Sadly as it was photographed at night I've had to use the less beautiful flash photography to document this pie. However be assured it is lip smackingly delicious, and using ready made puff pastry it's also very easy to create, good comfort food for this strange climate change weather.


Adapted from the one given by Neil Morrissey from Taste Of My Life at BBC Food Recipes, see the original recipe here

Serves 4 greedyguts

500g lean beef mince (preferably organic)
1 onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
200g butternut squash, peeled and diced small
half a small stick of celery, chopped small
75g mushrooms, chopped
1 bay leaf
100ml good red wine
150ml beef or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tomato puree
pinch of dried herbs de provence or thyme
approx 100g broad beans, optional
375g ready made and ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 and a half tablespoons plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1. Turn the oven to 200C (180C fan ovens) and get out a good sized ceramic or tin pie dish.

2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the beef mince over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon every few minutes.

3. Throw in the sliced onion, garlic, diced squash and chopped celery, and fry for 2 minutes.

4. Add the tomato puree, stir in until well combined for another couple of minutes.

5. Next add the flour, stirring again and letting it dissolve before adding the mushrooms.

6. Once the mushrooms are in, pour over the red wine. Turn up the heat and let the wine come to the boil before turning the heat down again and adding the stock to the filling.

7. Now add the dashes of worcestershire sauce and the dried herbs, give it a good stir, then reduce the heat further and cover the pan with a lid, letting it simmer for about 20 minutes.

8. While this is going on, release the broad beans from their large pods, before boiling them in water for about 5 minutes. Then drain them in a sieve, and when they've cooled take them one by one out of their outer shells using your fingers. Tip the little green inner beans into the beef filling as it simmers, stirring once.

9.Once time is up, take the pan off the heat and put it to one side to let the filling cool a bit. Then ladle the beef and vegetable filling into the prepared pie dish.

10. 10 minutes before the mixture is turned into the dish, take the ready made puff pastry out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature. Then sprinkle a board with some flour and then roll out the pastry on the board.

11. Cut a lid for the pie out the pastry and then carefully place it over the filling so that the edges of the pastry touch the sides of the dish. Cut the lid a little bigger than the dish, as pastry tends to shrink when baking.

12. Use any leftover offcuts of the pastry to make shapes such as traditional leaves, or my less traditional MOO! Place these shapes over the pastry lid. Remember to make a few slits in the centre of the pastry lid to allow steam and excess moisture to escape from the pie as it cooks.

13. Briefly beat the egg yolk with a fork until bubbly, then brush the beaten yolk over the pastry lid and shapes to give it a lovely golden glow when it comes out of the oven.

14. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. It should come out looking golden brown and smelling irresistible.

15. Serve with mashed potato, steamed carrots and maybe some steamed greens.

This pie was idly baked while listening to Schubert's Unfinished Symphony: No 8 in B Minor

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