We are big fans of hot, savoury pies in our house. There is something deeply comforting about a gravy-laden pastry and hot buttered vegetables on cold wintery nights.
They freeze beautifully, so if you are so inclined, double the recipe and make some small pies for the freezer. They’re perfect for those weeknights when you’ve run out of energy and want something hearty; just make sure to wrap them tightly in a double cling film before putting them in the freezer.
Roll out the pastry into a rough circle that is large enough to accommodate the deep sides of the springform pan.
Use the removable bottom as a guide to cut out wedges of pastry. This prevents excess pastry as you’re shaping the upright sides.
Carefully fold the pastry to ease it into the tin, now fitted with the removable bottom.
Fill with the prepared and cooled filing.
All ready with a Shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day.
One recipe Shortcrust Pastry
- one egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water (for the egg wash)
For the filling
- 113g or 4 oz bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 kg or 2.2 lbs beef stewing meat, cut into 1” or 2 cm cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 15 ml or 1 tbsp olive oil
- 340 g or 12 oz cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
- 283 or 10 oz yellow onion, diced (1 large)
- 227 g or 8 oz celery, diced (3 stalks)
- 227 g or 8 oz carrots, peeled and diced (4 medium)
- 60 g or ½ c unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 360 ml or 12 oz Guinness or other stout beer
- 900 ml or 30 oz beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 g or 2 ½ tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
Make the Shortcrust Pastry
Make the filling
- Season the beef with salt and pepper.
- In a large, heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy; remove to a small bowl. Add the beef and sear until well browned on all sides (1–2 minutes per side). Work in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Transfer to a large plate or bowl.
- Add the mushrooms to the pot and sauté until brown (5–7 minutes). Remove to the plate with the beef.
- Drain all but 2 tbsp of fat from the pot.
- Add the diced onion, celery and carrots to the remaining fat and sauté until the vegetables begin to soften (3–5 minutes). Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour and stir well to coat. Add the beer, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits. Add the broth and bay leaf and bring to a brisk simmer.
- Return the beef, mushroom and bacon to the pot and bring the pot to a simmer. Continue to cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender and the gravy is thickened (60–90 minutes). Add the thyme and adjust the seasonings.
- Remove from the heat and allow the filling to cool completely.
Assemble the pie
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one of the pieces of pastry into a circle 8” larger in diameter than your chosen springform pan. Place the bottom of the springform pan in the middle of the circle to act as a guide. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut away four equally-spaced v-shaped wedges of pastry approximately ½” wide at the point closest to the guide and 3–4” at the outer edge. Put the cutouts to one side—you will use them later to make the pastry lid.
- Remove the pan bottom from the pastry and assemble the springform pan. Gently lift the pastry, centre and ease it down into the springform pan. Brush one edge of each wedge with a bit of egg wash and press the adjacent edges together so that the pastry walls are sealed. Trim any excess pastry rising above the rim of the springform pan to ½”. Place the pan on the baking sheet, loosely with cling film to prevent it from drying out; place the baking sheet in the fridge. Repeat if you are making a second pie.
- Divide the filling between the pastry-lined pans and smooth with the back of a spoon.
- Gather the scraps of pastry together. Roll out a circle 1” larger in diameter than the springform pan to make the lid.
- Brush the pastry edges of the pie with a thin layer of egg wash. Transfer a lid to the top of the pie. Gently press the edges together to seal the top and bottom crusts and crimp together between the thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand and the index finger of your dominant hand.
- Brush the lid of the pie with a thin layer of egg wash. Cut six to eight equally spaced slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Repeat if making second pie.
- Transfer the pie to the parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F
- Bake until the crust is deeply golden, protecting the edges of the pie with foil partway through if the pastry is browning too quickly (50–60 minutes). Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.