Steak & Mushroom Pie
My last entry got us started on pastry-making with perhaps the simplest pastry of them all, short crust pastry. So I guess I ought to put up a recipe that you can actually use it with.
It’s an interesting cultural difference that to Americans, “pie” essentially means sweet pastries, especially fruit pies, while to Australians, a “pie” is primarily a savoury, usually meat-based pastry. The quintessential Australian pie is basically minced beef in a rich gravy, but go into any bakery in Australia, and you’ll find an array of meat pies, from steak & onion to curry chicken, or that Tasmanian classic, the curried scallop pie.
Of course, the pie you buy in an Australian bakery is usually a one-person snack, big enough to hold in one hand and eat on the go, slathered with tomato sauce (ketchup): otherwise known as a “dog’s eye and dead horse” (work it out).
This recipe, however, is for a larger pie, big enough to be a meal for the family, with some left over. Serve it with some mashed potatoes and green vegies for a great winter dinner.
What do I need?
- Olive oil
- 1kg steak (such as chuck, blade, etc.) or minced beef
- 2 small or medium onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 rashers of bacon
- 300g mushrooms
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 cup of stout, beer or beef stock
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup of sour cream
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 1/2 quantity of short crust pastry
What do I do?
Clean the mushrooms first – remember to wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth rather than wash them under water. Never wash mushrooms under water! They are subtle and quick to anger – sorry, nerd joke; the real reason is that they go rubbery if you do.
Slice the mushrooms thickly, or cut them into large pieces. If they’re smallish shroomies, I usually quarter them. I like me shroomies chunky. Chop the bacon into large pieces as well.
Dice the meat, if you’re using steak, and put it in a freezer bag or a bowl with a couple of tbsp of flour and a good shake of pepper and a pinch of salt. Toss the meat in the seasoned flour to coat it.
Heat some oil in a large saucepan so that it’s fairly hot and quickly fry the floured steak in batches, until it’s browned. Put the meat aside on a plate or bowl.
Turn the heat down to medium-low, melt a knob of butter in the pan and gently fry the onion, bacon and garlic until the onions are softened.
Add the mushrooms and fry for a few more minutes until they are nice and golden-brown.
Mix the sour cream and flour together into a smooth paste.
Sprinkle the sour cream and flour mix over the onions, bacon and mushrooms, and stir through.
Add the liquid, sage and salt and pepper. By a happy coincidence, if you do use stout or beer, you’ll find that you have quite a bit left over. No sense wasting it.
Stir the liquid in until it’s smoothly mixed through and then simmer for about 20 minutes, until the meat is tender.
Set aside to cool, and prepare the pastry as shown in the short crust recipe.
Line the pie dish with about 2/3 of the pastry – trim the edge of the pastry so that it leaves a slight lip around the rim. Use a pastry brush to moisten the lip of the pie.
Place the cooled filling in the pie and cover with the rest of the pastry. Press around the edges with your thumb to seal the pastry.
Cut some small slits in the lid of the pie. Yes, those classic little slits are there for a reason – to let out steam while the pie bakes. The little pastry leaves you may or may not choose to decorate it with, however, serve no function except to give the kids a reason to fight over which slice they want.
Glaze the pastry lightly with milk or egg white, and bake in a moderate oven for half an hour, or until the pie is nicely browned.