These old school steak and blue cheese pies are offer consoling warmth on a gloomy day.
Recipe and styling by Claire Ferrandi
Photograph by Sadiqah Assur-Ismail
Steak and blue cheese individual pot pies
- 1,5kg boneless stewing beef, cubed
- 50g cake flour
- 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 500ml (2 cups) beef stock
- 250ml (1 cup) Guinness dry stout
- handful thyme leaves
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 150g blue cheese (Stilton, if you can find it, but Gorgonzola will work), broken into chunks
- 1 x 400g roll puff pastry, defrosted but still chilled
- 1 beaten egg, to brush
- small handful sage leaves
For the filling, toss the steak cubes in the cake flour. Place the olive oil in a large stove-proof casserole dish over high heat. Brown the meat, in batches if necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove the meat from the dish and set aside. Lower the heat and fry the onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. If necessary, add a little water to the pan and scrape with a wooden spoon to release any meat that has stuck to the bottom of the dish.
Return the meat to the dish and add the tinned tomatoes, the beef stock, stout and thyme. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours 30 minutes. Add the carrots and simmer, a further 30 minutes, before tasting the stew and seasoning accordingly. Allow the stew to cool completely (place the stew in a bowl in the freezer to speed up the process).
To assemble the pot pies, preheat the oven to 220°C. Divide the beef stew among 6 individual 10cm diameter ramekins or cocottes and dot the chunks of blue cheese of choice over the individual pie fillings. Cut 6 discs of 10cm diameter from the puff pastry. Place the discs on top of the ramekins to create a pastry lid (use a little beaten egg on the lip of the ramekins to secure the pastry). Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle with salt. If desired, use the leftover pastry to decorate the tops of the pies and brush them with the beaten egg again, before topping each with a sage leaf. Bake the pies in the preheated oven, 30 – 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and puffed. Serve immediately while still hot.