This recipe is something of a tribute; a dedication to a fine pub near where I work that serves the best pies. So good in fact that a colleague’s daughters plead to go to the “pie pub please”. The Royal Oak Grill in Woodham Mortimer serves up a fine menu of traditional pub fare. As a workplace we’ve celebrated many a birthday, leaving do or just a Friday lunch out that way.
Once I enjoyed a very good pie, quite dry inside but packed with rich beef and served with a tasty gravy. This is my go at that.
Beef and mushroom pie (serves 6):
1kg beef brisket
2 red onions, sliced
500g mushrooms, halved
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
½ pint boiling beef stock
3 tablespoons mushroom ketchup
For the pastry:
300g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
- Get your slow cooker on to warm up, and a frying pan over a high heat.
- Season the brisket well all over and add to the pan. Sear on all sides then transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the onions, rosemary and garlic to the pan with a splash of oil and as they start to colour add to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients. Leave to tick away for 7 hours, or until the beef falls apart. Leave to cool for half an hour in the pot to relax.
- For the pastry, combine the flour, suet and butter with a pinch of salt and rub together to form breadcrumbs. Add 125ml cold water to bring together, wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the meat and strain the liquor off into a saucepan. Shred the meat with two forks, discarding any fatty bits, and pop into a pie dish along with cooked onions and mushrooms. Roll out the pastry to 5mm thick and layer over the pie filling. Brush with the egg and bake for 30 minutes or until browned and luvverly.
- While the pie cooks, put the strained sauce over a high heat and get bubbling. Check for seasoning. If it looks like it’s not going to be as thick as you would like, whisk in a beurre meunière (a tablespoon each of butter and flour mixed together). Carve up the pie, ladle over gravy and serve with mash, carrots and broccoli.