Steak and mushrooms are great friends and work just as well in a pie as they do when fried or grilled. You can use pretty much any mushroom in this dish, but I love using darker varieties like field or portobello mushrooms – they give the gravy a really rich, dark colour. The cheese is a bit of an unusual twist, but it adds a richness and good texture to the filling. Brilliant!
• Find selected wild or field mushrooms at Thrupps and Woolworths, or online at www.edulis.com or call 011-483-3916.
• Substitute with dried wild or field mushrooms if necessary but remember to rehydrate them.
Recipe by Jamie Oliver
Steak and mushroom pie
- 15ml (1 tbsp) lard
- a clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 300g wild mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped (see Cook’s Tips below)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
- 1kg stewing steak, cubed
- cake flour, enough to coat meat
- a sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
- 100g cheddar, grated
- 500g puff pastry
- 1 large free-range or organic egg
- 15ml (1 tbsp) milk
- poppy seeds, to garnish
Heat the lard in a heavy stewing pan. Drop in the garlic and mushrooms, and fry lightly for a minute or two. Season to taste with salt. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and cook gently until soft.
Sprinkle the beef with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss in enough flour to coat all the pieces. Turn the heat up and brown the meat with the mushrooms and other vegetables for a minute or two, adding the chopped rosemary at the same time.
Add enough water just to cover, bring to the boil and cook rapidly for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 2 hours. Keep checking every half hour or so to make sure there is always just enough water to keep the meat from catching on the bottom of the pan.
Once the meat is very tender, check to make sure that the liquid has reduced until there’s just enough to coat the meat. If not, reduce the liquid down on a high heat for a couple more minutes before taking the pan off the heat. Leave to cool slightly and stir in the cheddar.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Roll the pastry out into 2 circles, one slightly bigger than the other, about 2mm thick. Line a 20cm pie dish with the bigger circle, then tip the stew in and smooth it out. Leave any excess pastry hanging over the edge for the time being. Place the second pastry circle on top and trim to a perfect fit. Bring the edges of the overhanging pastry up over the top – you’ll get a double layer of pastry around the edge of the pie.
Beat the egg and milk together and brush the top of the pastry with it. Scatter the pie with poppy seeds and bake on the bottom shelf in the oven until the pastry is cooked, puffed and golden, about 1 hour.
To drink: Go for Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2006 – aromas of dark chocolate and spicy cassis offer a truly hedonistic treat with this delicious pie.