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Beef and Chestnut Pot Pies

Celebrate British Pie Week (March 4th-10th) with this great pub classic.

For the pie topping

½ x 500g pack prepared puff pastry
One egg, beaten

450g lean boneless beef shin, cut into 2.5cm cubes
2 tablespoons plain flour seasoned with salt and freshly milled black pepper
3 tablespoons rapeseed or sunflower oil
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
100g vacuum packed whole peeled chestnuts, halved
300ml stout
150ml good, hot beef stock
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 bay leaf

Place the seasoned flour and seasoning into a large plastic food bag.  Add the beef in batches and shake to coat.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the beef in stages for 4-5 minutes until brown on all sides.  Spoon into a 1.2L ovenproof casserole dish suitable for the hob and oven.

In the same frying pan fry the onions and chestnuts for 2-3 minutes.  Spoon into the casserole dish with the beef.

Add the rest of the ingredients, turn up the heat and boil then cover, turn down the heat and cook on the hob or in a preheated oven at 170°C, 150°C, Fan, Gas Mark 3 for 1½ hours.

Remove the casserole from the hob or oven and turn up the oven to 190°C, 170°C, Fan, Gas Mark 5.

Remove the bay leaf and spoon into a 1.2L ovenproof pie dish.

For the topping, roll out the pastry in a large square on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a pound coin. Cut the pastry lid large enough to cover the dish.

Spoon the filling into the casserole dish, dampen the edges with water and cover the top with a pastry lid.   Cut a small slit on top of the pastry for the steam to escape.  Put the pie on a baking tray then brush the pastry with the beaten egg.

Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

Serve the pie with creamy mash and seasonal vegetables.

Recipe courtesy of Simply Beef & Lamb