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Wednesday 11 January 2012

Sluttishly Savoury: Beef and Chestnut Pie

Elizabeth is poorly today so instead of her sharing a fantastic chicken recipe, she's off to bed with Lemsip and a DVD boxed set and I get to share my beef and chestnut pie recipe with you. It's not strictly a pie and pie pedants purists will no doubt tell me off for calling it one. It's really a stew with a puff pastry hat.

If all hats were made of pastry the world would be a much better place.

Chestnuts were a bit of a whim, as I remembered that I had a vacuum pack in the cupboard that I meant to use at Christmas. Usually I'd have put them with white meat, but they worked perfectly, soaking up red wine like a nutty, boozy sponge. This is a pie that punches you in the face. Frankly I wouldn't want anything else from my food in January.

You'll need:
  • 500g stewing steak
  • 300g Portobello mushrooms, chopped (you probably don't need this many mushrooms, but you try telling me to curb my mushroom use)
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • two cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine
  • cup of beef stock (I mean an actual cup, I used one that had an Isle of Wight map on it)
  • 1 vacuum pack of chestnuts (you can buy these in most supermarkets, loitering by the packs of stuffing)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 packet of puff pastry
Make it!
  • Brown the meat in a pan with some oil and seasoning, then add the shallots and mushrooms and garlic. 
  • Once that's all smelling brilliant, throw over the wine.
  • Pop the vacuum pack into hot water for a few minutes (save the water, it's what you'll use to make the stock). Once they've softened, add them to the pan.
  • Mix everything up a bit and turn it town to a low heat. Add the beef stock and bay leaves and leave it alone for about an hour and a half, maybe stirring and trying as you go along. Maybe another 45 minutes if your steak is still a little tough.
  • Put your mixture in a pie dish (leave a good half inch, otherwise you'll get gravy all over your oven)  and roll out your puff pastry to size. Then pop in a preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes until you've not nice golden brown pastry tops. 
  • The best thing about cooking your mixture this was is that you don't need to use it all in one pie - I had some topped with mash on Sunday. Use as much as you need and freeze the rest, or make mini pies for everyone.
  • Or, you could just dish it all up in a bowl and polish off the rest of the red wine.
Flickr image from Gimme Food :-)'s photostream.


  1. Mmm sounds nice. Funnily enough I chucked a left over handful of chestnuts in a beef stew last week (on whim, as you do) and they worked perfectly!

  2. That sounds yummy, will have to keep an eye out for some chestnuts!

  3. Made this last night yummy! Rather than the bay leaf I threw in a tablespoon of Easy Tasty Magic's "on the game" and it worked really well yum!


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