Sunday, November 21, 2010

English Beef Pie Recipe

The gang is heading out to watch football on a cold, dreary day today so I wanted to send them off filled with some good comfort food. This dish did the trick.

I made the pie dough in advance. It is so much easier if you have the dough prepared in ahead of time.

Dice one large onion.

And four carrots.

Melt a bit of bacon grease in some olive oil in a heavy pot.

Dice up four anchovies.

Saute' them in the oil.

These impart no fishy taste at all but rather caramelize and give your dish a deep beefy flavor.

Saute' the onions in the oil until they become transparent.

Add the carrots.

Sprinkle in some freshly cracked pepper.

And a few tablespoons of granulated garlic. You can use fresh garlic but when I want a more concentrated flavor throughout a dish, I use granulated garlic.

Add several tablespoons of dried thyme.

Then add two teaspoons of salt

Add two pounds of ground beef and begin browning it.

After the beef browns add about 1/3 cup of flour. Stir it in and cook it for a few minutes.

Add four cups of beef stock.

And four tablespoons of tomato paste.

Add a few tablespoons of Maggi.

And a couple tablespoons of Kitchen Bouquet.

Cut four potatoes into small dice.

Then stir in some diced fresh parsley. Set the mixture aside to cool.

Roll the dough into a large rectangle.

Fit it into a heavy 12 X 9 pan.

Roll out more dough and place on top and crimp around the edges.

Brush the top with cream. Bake this in a 400 degree oven until nice and golden. Mine took about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The juice should be bubbling around the edges.

While the pie is baking make the gravy. Dice up a large bowl of carrots, celery, onions and any root vegetables you have on hand. I used turnips and parsnips.

Put them in a heavy pot with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle some cracked pepper and salt over them.

Sprinkle some dried thyme in too.

Cook this over medium high heat stirring occasionally. They should create a nice brown crust on the pan and the vegetables will become golden brown. This is where all the flavor comes from.

Sprinkle about a quarter cup of flour over the veggies and stir and cook for a couple minutes.

Stir in a cup of red wine and scrape up the crust from the bottom of the pan.

Add about 6 cups of beef stock.

Let this simmer until thickened then drain off the gravy and discard the vegetables.

Here is the pie fresh out of the oven.

Make some mashed potatoes. I always bake my potatoes instead of boiling them. This gives the mashed potatoes a rich baked potato flavor. Boiling them causes them to lose flavor.

While the potatoes bake I melt some butter with about four tablespoons of cream cheese, 2-3 cups of whole milk and salt and pepper.

Slice the baked potatoes in half and scoop out the potato into the bowl with the butter and milk.

Mash them to the desired consistency.

Make some buttered peas. As you can see I forgot to take that pic.

You can see the steam rising from the plate. A comfort food feast!