Crisp pastry, deep and rich meat and vegetables are what makes this pie a family winner.
Sundays are made for the family to get together, relax and have good wholesome food around the table while sharing idle chatter. This is what we enjoy as a family and more so when the weather is that little drab and dreary. The day we encountered had light rain pattering the window, like little drums and as you look out its seems like small tears rolling down.
This is when I like to cook meals that send aromas through the house, encouraging little questions from our kids asking what’s for dinner. The buildup of tender excitement as I call everyone to the table ready for dinner is what Sundays are for.
This minced beef and vegetable pie sent these aromas dancing through the house, that meaty beef smell with a hint of thyme. Making the pie was also very satisfying. I actually really enjoy making pastry as I find it very calming and allows me to imagine how the finished pie would be and I also get a lot of inspiration for recipes in these moments.
While the pie was cooking, I spent those minutes making lego house with my kids which was always going to be good fun especially as I had to make a music school on this occasion for my youngest daughter, with a slide of course and a batman house for my son which suddenly changed to being Spiderman’s house.
It was during these building moments I could sense the pie cooking away as the pastry turns a golden brown and turning crisp with little flakes which is made by using the lard in the recipe.
When the time came to the family meal time you know you have done well as you cut perfect wedges from the pie to serve without an oozy gravy going everywhere or the mix being so dry it looks dull. This pie, however, had a beautiful sheen to the filling making it velvety yet meaty enough. The grated carrot and courgette added another dimension of crunch and softness to the pie which was finished with that crisp pastry encasing it all together in perfect harmony.
Minced Beef and Vegetable Pie
For the pastry
- 300 g Plain Flour
- 100 g Unsalted Butter chilled and cubed
- 50 g Lard chilled and cubed
- 1 Large egg lightly beaten
For the filling
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Medium Onion finely diced
- 500 g Minced beef
- 1 Large Carrot peeled and grated
- 1 Medium courgette grated
- 1 leaves tsp. Fresh thyme
- 100 g Frozen peas
- 2 tbsp. Plain Flour
- 2 tbsp. tomato puree
- 1 tbsp. Worcester sauce
- 1 Beef stock cube
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- Start by making the pastry by sifting the flour in to a large mixing bowl and rubbing the butter and lard until the mixture resembles a sandy texture. Make a well in the middle and add the egg and mix with 1 tbsp. of cold water until the pastry begins to bind. Empty on to your work top and gently bring together to a smooth ball. Try not to over work the pastry. Wrap in cling film and then place in to the fridge until required.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C / 180C fan. Heat a large pan over a medium to high heat and add the olive oil followed by the onions and cook until soft and lightly coloured. Add the mince and continue to fry until the mince has browned off.
- Add the grated carrot and courgette and stir in to the mince mixture followed by the peas and thyme and cooked for 2 minutes.
- Take off the heat and mix the tomato puree, Worcester sauce, stock cube and 200 ml of hot water to make a paste. Place the pan back on the heat, add the flour and stir followed by the paste. Mix well and season to your liking.
- Place the mix to the side and take the pastry out of the oven. Grease a 20 cm cake/pie tin and then cut off 2/3 of the pastry. Place the 1/3 of pastry to the side as this will be your lid.
- Roll out the larger piece of pastry on a floured surface to a large round than that of your pie tin. Line your tin and press gently in to the sides followed by adding the pie mixture.
- With the remaining pastry roll out to the size of the pie tin, lightly brush the base side of the pie with water and lay the pie lid on top. Crimp the lid to the base with your thumb and forefingers or a fork and then cut off the edges.
- With the trimmings, roll out and cut out some leaves or shapes that you desire for decoration. Brush the top of the pie with the remaining egg, cut a cross in the middle and place the decoration on top and brush with egg.
- Finally sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 40 mins until golden and crisp.
- Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving with some creamy mashed potato such as colcannon and your favourite vegetables.