One of my Christmas presents was Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds book. As you know, I love savoury pies and Jim loves his sweet puds, so this was a gift we could both enjoy.
My first venture because I had been flicking through the book and spotted Buffalo and Ale Pie was to visit Mercadona and buy some of their stewing steak. You lot know me too well I can´t stick to a recipe and have to adapt, but the idea was there…. and realistically what chance have I of finding buffalo meat in Tenerife?
This recipe also gave me the excuse to play with my other new toy a slow cooker. Whilst in the UK walking around Tesco I couldn´t believe how cheap these were – £10 the only problem was carrying it back as part of our hand baggage – darn thing weighs a ton
So to the gorgeous Paul’s adapted recipe.
For the pastry
Mercadona’s own ready-made puff pastry as a substitutes is fine, however I made suet crust from
8oz plain flour
4oz Atora suet
For the filling
2 tbsp plain flour
1pack stewing steak, cut into cubes (approx 1 kg)
1-2 tbsp oil
12 shallots, peeled but left whole I used 6 small onions as I didn´t have shallots
2 carrots cut into 1in slices
2 tsp mushroom ketchup
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tin of beer 12 fl oz.
8 fl oz beef stock
1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Start by making the filling – put the flour in a large bowl and season it generously with salt and pepper. Toss the meat in the flour until evenly coated. Then heat the oil in a frying pan. Working in batches, brown the meat, adding more oil if you need to. Transfer the browned meat to the slow cooker with the onions and carrots. Add the mushroom ketchup and tomato purée, ale and stock then leave to cook until the meat is very tender. From start to finish, the filling took around 7 hours but the time was well spent when you saw the richness and tasted the intense flavour. It just melted on the tongue.
I let it sit in the fridge overnight then the next afternoon I transferred to a pie dish. I only needed half of the meat and vegetables so made two pies the other going into the freezer for another day.
Mix the flour and the suet together, add a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp water at a time until the pastry starts to come together, then tip onto a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands.
Dampen the rim of the pie dish and press a thin strip of pastry around the edge. Cut the remaining pastry a little larger than the pie dish. Sit a pie funnel in the centre of the filling. Press the lid over the top and crimp the edges. Trim away the excess pastry. Brush with either egg or milk and bake in a preheated oven of 200C for around 40 minutes then leave to settle for 10-15 minutes before serving.