I use to love pies as a child. They were a great quick meal for lunch or dinner with the family and even though mum did them in the microwave (hence no flaky crust), I was a massive fan. Then one day, I bit in to my regular fourandtwenty pie and as I was chewing on the mincey filling, I thought of a cow and couldn’t finish it. True story. Don’t ask my logic, I still ate steaks, regular minced dishes (bolognaise, etc) but from that day forward, pies never passed my lips and I became devoted to sausage rolls. It took about six or seven years to pluck up the courage for my to try another pie and once I did, I had no idea what my problem was. I had missed the beautiful gravy insides and the flaky (when bought or cooked in the oven obviously) pastry. It was like a long lost love, rekindled with a single bite lol.
Years later, I’m making my own pies and after seeing Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry on Masterchef, I knew I had to try it. It sounded perfect and got rave reviews on the show. She also said it was very forgiving which I like in a pastry.
Now for the innards. Chicken? Pork? Fish? Nah! Beef and Guinness, and in the slow cooker no less. Have I mentioned how much I love the slow cooker? I wasn’t in a fluster when our friends arrived, I’d done the pastry and it was in the fridge and the filling was left to its own devices in the slow cooker. Easy!
Adapted from Taste
2 kg diced chuck steak
3 sliced onions
4 crushed cloves garlic
1 tbs oil
2/3 cup plain flour
2 cups beef stock
Brown 2kg diced chuck steak in hot oil. Transfer to slow cooker.
Cook 3 sliced onions and 4 crushed cloves garlic in 1 tbs oil until golden. Sprinkle in 2/3 cup plain flour and cook for 1 min.
Place onion mixture in slow cooker, adding 400ml Guinness and 2 cups beef stock. Turn on high, cooking for around 5 hours or until meat is tender.
Once meat is cooked to your liking, remove lid to thicken. You may need to either add more flour, or remove some liquid.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Spoon beef mixture into prepared pastry shell and top with pastry lid.
Press firmly to seal. Brush with 1 beaten egg, place on a tray and bake for 25 minutes until golden.
Sour cream pastry
Adapted from The cook and the chef
125 g plain flour
100 g unsalted & chilled butter
60 ml sour cream (approx.)
Chop all the butter into small cubes. Weigh flour and put into mixer. Blend flour and butter until it resembles a large breadcrumb consistency.
Add sour cream gradually. I actually found I didnt need all the sour cream and ended up having to add more flour as it turned out a little wet but each time is apparently different, so see how you go.
Turn onto a floured bench, bring together with your hands, Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before rolling out.
Fit in to 8″ spring form tin, line with baking beads (I used lentils :)) and blind bake at 200C for 12 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes.