Mini Peppered Steak Pies (makes 12)

Ingredients

Pepper & Thyme Pastry
  • 8.8oz-250g pastry butter or lard (cold & cubed)
  • 17.6oz-500g plain flour (sifted)
  • 1 medium egg yolk (free-range- for pastry wash at the end)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons cold water
  • ½ tablespoon salt
Peppered `Steak Filling
  • 1x beef Oxo cube
  • 2x rich beef stock pots
  • 2.4oz-70g unsalted butter
  • 16.9 fl oz-500ml boiling water
  • 10.1 fl oz-300ml dark ale/stout
  • 28.2oz-800g braising steak (good quality)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1x onion (finely diced)
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons corn-flour mixed with a little cold water into a paste
  • 3 tablespoons beef gravy granules

Method

  1. ***Nb: filling may ooze out during cooking, don't worry. Place a baking tray underneath, it will come in handy later***
  2. To start, make the pie filling. Pre-heat a slow cooker on the high heat setting
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook until soft whilst stirring occasionally
  4. Whilst the onions are cooking, season the diced braising steak with the Oxo cube, salt and pepper. Mix through the meat with your hands. Add the steak to the onions and brown all over whilst continuing to stir
  5. Add the brandy and dried thyme and cook for a further 2 mins
  6. Add the boiling water, stock cubes, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and dark ale and bring to boil. As soon it is brought to boil, remove from the heat and put into the slow cooker
  7. Place the lid on the cooker and slow cook for 2 ½ hours. Once time is up, remove the lid and stir
  8. Add the corn-flour mix and gravy granules and slow cook for a further 40 minutes without the lid on, stirring at intervals, allowing to thicken
  9. Whilst the filling is cooking, prepare the pastry. In a large mixing bowl add the cold butter/lard and flour. Use stand mixer with beater on low setting for 2 mins or use your fingers and thumb to rub together until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If doing this manually, take your time to get the effect and be patient
  10. Add the thyme, black pepper and salt. Stir through
  11. Add the water and stir through with a knife before continuing to knead together with your hands. When thoroughly combined, roll into a smooth ball and wrap in cling-film. Pop in the fridge for one hour
  12. When the hour is up, grease a 12-hole loose bottom muffin tin and set to one side. Flour a surface and the rolling pan and roll out the pastry mix evenly and thin. Use a large circular cutter (use an upturned pint glass if you don't have one) and make 12 large circles. Transfer the circles of pasty to the tin holes and press into the mould and base, leaving overhang around the edges
  13. Gather up the remaining pastry and roll out again, nice and thin. Using a smaller cutter (or a normal drinking glass upturned that's smaller than a pint circumference) cut 12 circles again to form a lid, check they will cover the top of the pies easily. Place on a small plate and pop the muffin tray and lids into the fridge for one hour
  14. When the filling is ready, remove the pie cases from the fridge and spoon equal amounts amongst the pre-prepared pie cases in the 12-hole muffin tin
  15. Attach a pastry lid on top of each pie and pinch it together with the overhanging sides and do a roll under effect towards the pie, to really lock it together
  16. Pre-heat oven to 392˚F/200˚C regular oven or 356˚F /180˚C fan assisted oven and place a baking tray at the bottom
  17. Using a small knife, make 2 small slits on top of each pie and brush the tops with the whisked egg yolk
  18. Pop the pies in the over for 25/30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool but leave the oven on
  19. Remove from the holes once they are cooled and pop onto the pre-heated oven tray. Pop back into the oven for a further 5/10 minutes to toast the sides a little
  20. Serve hot or cold!!! Yum!!!!

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