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  • September 20, 2020

Easy Ways To Make Pie During Lockdown

Many people are getting into baking during this coronavirus lockdown period and since they have more time on their hands and restaurants are closed.

Baking is also one of the fun activities to do with your family.

Despite its party-food reputation, pie can provide a lot of good nutrition.

That’s especially true when you make it yourself at home.

Steak and Kidney

Ingredients

For the Pastry:

  • 2 1/4 cups/200 grams all-purpose plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 ounces/110 grams butter (cubed or an equal mix of butter and lard)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water (cold)

For the Filling:

  • 1/3 cup/25 grams all-purpose flour
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 pounds/700grams beef chuck steak (or other tough beef, cut into 1-inch/2.5-cm cubes)
  • 1/2 pound/250 grams beef kidney (cleaned and chopped into 1-inch/2.5-cm cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons/25 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 carrots (cut into 1-inch/2.5-cm cubes)
  • 3 1/2 cups/850 milliliters beef stock (hot)
  • 1 large egg (beaten for glazing)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this steak and kidney pie is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Pastry

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the flour, salt, and butter in a large, clean bowl.

  3. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough from becoming warm.

  4. Add the water to the mixture. Using a cold knife, stir until the dough binds together. Add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry.

  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place flour in a large bowl, season with salt and ground black pepper, add the cubes of steak and kidney, and toss well in the flour until evenly coated.

  3. Heat butter and oil in a large, flameproof casserole dish until the butter has melted. Add the meat to the fat in small batches and stir quickly for about 1 minute, or until the meat is browned. Remove with a slotted spoon.

  4. Add the onions and carrots to the pan and fry gently for about 5 minutes.

  5. Return the meat to the pan, stir, and add the stock. Season with plenty of black pepper and a little salt. Bring to a gentle boil, cover with a lid and reduce to a gentle simmer.

  6. Cook slowly for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce thickened. Remove from the heat, place into a 6-cup/1.5-liter deep pie dish and let cool completely.

  7. Heat the oven to 400 F/200 C/Gas 6.

  8. Roll out the pastry to 1/8-inch/3 mm and wide enough to cover the pie dish. Cut a tiny hole in the center to slip over the steam funnel if using.

  9. Brush the rim of the pie dish with water and place a pie funnel in the center of the filling. Place the pastry over the dish and the funnel pressing it down, trimming to fit the rim of the dish. Crimp the edges using your thumb and first finger. If not using a pie funnel, just cut a small slash in the middle of the crust to allow steam to escape.

  10. Brush the top with beaten egg.

  11. Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve immediately with seasonal vegetables.

chicken pie

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 medium chicken
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 6–8 peppercorns

For the pastry

  • 450g/1lb plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 120g/4½oz butter, cold
  • 120g/4½oz vegetable shortening, cold
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten, for glazing

For the sauce

  • 250ml/9fl oz whole milk
  • 55g/2oz butter
  • 55g/2oz plain flour

Method

  1. Place the chicken in a large pan. Stud the onion with cloves and add it to the pan with the carrot, bay leaves, stock cube and peppercorns. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked. This will take about 45 minutes–1¼ hours, depending on the size of the chicken.

  2. Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt together into a large mixing bowl. Dice the cold butter and vegetable shortening and rub them into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in just enough cold water to form a stiff dough. Turn this out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to form a smooth ball of dough. Wrap in clingfilm or place in a plastic bag and chill for at least 30 minutes.

  3. When the chicken is cooked, take the pan off the heat. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate. Put the pan back on the heat and reduce the cooking liquid to about 250ml/9fl oz. Strain the reduced liquid into a jug and leave to cool, then skim off the fat and discard it.

  4. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut the meat into chunks and discard the skin and bones.

  5. For the sauce, remove the cloves from the onion. Put the onion in a food processor with the reserved stock. Blend until smooth, then add the milk and set aside.

  6. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Gradually add the stock and milk, then bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes to cook out the taste of the flour. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then fold the meat gently into the sauce. Set the mixture aside to cool.

  7. Preheat the oven to 220C/210C Fan/Gas 7. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use it to line a 20–25cm/8–10in pie plate and add the cooled chicken mix.

  8. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid for the pie, brush the edge with beaten egg and pinch the edges together to seal.

  9. Decorate the top of the pie with leaves made from pastry trimmings and brush all over with beaten egg. Make a hole in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape, then bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown.

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Meat Pie

Ingredients

  • 750 g chuck beef steak, cubed
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 onion diced large
  • 1 1/2 cups Massel* Beef Style Liquid Stock
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbs water
  • 2 sheets shortcrust pastry
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 sheet puff pastry

Method

  1. Toss meat with flour, shake off excess.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy base frying pan and cook meat quickly in small batches over medium high heat until well browned. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Add onion to pan cook over medium heat until soft. Return meat to pan.
  4. Add stock and soy sauce. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer covered for 1½- 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Blend cornflour and water in small jug until smooth. Add to pan.
  6. Simmer, while stirring, until thickened. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  7. Preheat oven to 210C. Cut short crust in half diagonally and cut puff into 4 squares.
  8. Line 4 cm individual pie tins with short crust pastry. Trim edges.
  9. Place ¼ of filling in each case and brush edges with a little beaten egg.
  10. Top with puff pastry, seal and trim edges. Brush tops with egg.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes until golden. Remove pies from pans. Place on oven tray and bake for a further 5 minutes or until pastry base is cooked through.

EQUIPMENT

  • 1 pie pans
  • 1 frying pan
  • 1 jug
  • 1 pastry brush
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