Elizabeth is poorly today so instead of her sharing a fantastic chicken recipe, she's off to bed with Lemsip and a DVD boxed set and I get to share my beef and chestnut pie recipe with you. It's not strictly a pie and pie
If all hats were made of pastry the world would be a much better place.
Chestnuts were a bit of a whim, as I remembered that I had a vacuum pack in the cupboard that I meant to use at Christmas. Usually I'd have put them with white meat, but they worked perfectly, soaking up red wine like a nutty, boozy sponge. This is a pie that punches you in the face. Frankly I wouldn't want anything else from my food in January.
- 500g stewing steak
- 300g Portobello mushrooms, chopped (you probably don't need this many mushrooms, but you try telling me to curb my mushroom use)
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- two cloves of garlic
- 1/2 bottle of red wine
- cup of beef stock (I mean an actual cup, I used one that had an Isle of Wight map on it)
- 1 vacuum pack of chestnuts (you can buy these in most supermarkets, loitering by the packs of stuffing)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 packet of puff pastry
- Brown the meat in a pan with some oil and seasoning, then add the shallots and mushrooms and garlic.
- Once that's all smelling brilliant, throw over the wine.
- Pop the vacuum pack into hot water for a few minutes (save the water, it's what you'll use to make the stock). Once they've softened, add them to the pan.
- Mix everything up a bit and turn it town to a low heat. Add the beef stock and bay leaves and leave it alone for about an hour and a half, maybe stirring and trying as you go along. Maybe another 45 minutes if your steak is still a little tough.
- Put your mixture in a pie dish (leave a good half inch, otherwise you'll get gravy all over your oven) and roll out your puff pastry to size. Then pop in a preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes until you've not nice golden brown pastry tops.
- The best thing about cooking your mixture this was is that you don't need to use it all in one pie - I had some topped with mash on Sunday. Use as much as you need and freeze the rest, or make mini pies for everyone.
- Or, you could just dish it all up in a bowl and polish off the rest of the red wine.
Flickr image from Gimme Food :-)'s photostream.