Minced Beef Pie with Cheesy Crust

This is such a great family pie and was also a hit on The Great British Bake Off – no soggy bottoms here!
Pastry225g plain flour75g butter, cold diced75g Lancashire cheese1 egg yolk4-6tbsp cold water
Filling250g minced beef2 carrots, diced1 stick of celery, diced1 onion, dicedSplash of ale2tbsp tomato puree2tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 egg beaten for egg wash
Pastry first!  Here are the ingredients.

It looks like this post is sponsored by Waitrose, it isn’t but one opened in our village last week – hence all the Waitrose stuff.  I won’t be shopping there all the time otherwise I might go bankrupt!
I make pastry in the food processor, it’s easy, that’s why!  It can be made by hand just as easily but it takes a bit longer and when the boys are asking for this and that I need all the time I can get my hands on.
So, into the food processor goes the flour.
Dice the butter into small cubes, you need to be using it directly out of the fridge so that it is cold.

Add the butter to the food processor and blitz it for 30 seconds so that it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Crumble in the cheese and give it a quick whizz to combine.

Now add in the egg yolk and another quick pulse.

Then using the chute to add the water, add it a tablespoon at a time pausing after the fourth,  usually I need to add another tablespoon but depending on your mixture you may need six in total.  You will see that the pastry starts to come together and the sound that the food processor makes changes.  (I am thinking I am a bit sad to know that!)
As soon as it comes together stop the food processor.

Tip out the pastry onto your work surface,  press it together lightly, you don’t need to knead it together just press lightly.

Cut it into two dividing it into 2/3rds and 1/3rd.

Wrap them in clingfilm and then chill them in the fridge for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200c/180c Fan/ Gas Mark 6.
In the meantime we can get on with the filling.  Fry the diced onion in a pan until nicely softened.
Add the minced beef and cook until browned.

Once browned add the diced celery and carrot and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper, add a splash of ale.  I measured my ‘splash’ – it was about 100ml.

I am using a chocolate stout but any kind of real type ale will work.

Add in the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce.  Give it a good stir to combine it all and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes.  This will cook through the diced veg and also reduce the liquid.
If after this time it is still fairly liquid you can stir through a tablespoon of plain flour to help the juice thicken.
Filling is now complete so back to the pastry.
Take the pastry from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll out the larger piece of pastry to fit your pie dish.  I like a deep pie and use an enamel pie dish (Lakeland to the rescue again – seriously I should have shares in that shop!) measuring 25 x 15cm.

A nifty trick is to flip the pastry over your rolling pin and then place it over the dish.  Press it gently into the tin allowing the excess to hang over the edges.

Fill the pie with your filling.

Roll out the remaining 1/3rd of pastry, slightly wet the edge of the pie pastry and place this piece on the top of your pie.  Use your fingers to gently press the edges together.

Using a sharp knife trim off the excess pastry.  To crimp the edge of the pie press down with the back of a fork.

Brush the top of the pie with egg wash

and then bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and delicious!

Minced Beef and Onion Pie with Cheesy Crust

Ruth Clemens Baker
Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

Finalist on BBC2 The Great British Bake Off

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