Thursday, January 28, 2016

Steak and cheese pie

I was tossing up whether to make something practical for today's recipe, or to go with an over-the-top multi-layered sugar-laden tower of awesomeness. Eventually practicality won out - sort of. This recipe, while a hearty and sensible meal (more sensible as a meal than cake, anyway) does take a bit of effort - but it's worth every minute.

Last time I was pregnant I only wanted to eat hot chips. This time around, pies are more of a theme (I'll still take chips, though!). There's a cafe near us that does fantastic pies (special mention to the one with hash brown in the filling), and I Love Pies do the best supermarket ones - but both of those options are really pricey and not exactly highly nutritious.

While this pie probably won't get the heart foundation tick, it hides a fair few veggies in its rich gravy, so you can feel a little better about the indulgence. You could further improve on the health factor by topping it with mashed potato or kumara, but I'm all about the pastry so we enjoyed ours the traditional way.

I've given the option in the recipe to make this as a fully encased pie if you want - a bit more effort but lots more pastry.

The recipe makes 10 servings, so very generous, but these will freeze well, then be nicely revived by half an hour in the oven for a quick meal. Alternatively, you could also make up just a few pies and have the remaining filling with rice for a slightly different take - we're all about multi-purpose leftovers here. Or give half to someone who's in a tough spot and save them making an evening meal. Options galore!

So, sorry it's not some incredible jaw-dropping cake, but it still hopefully scratches an itch for you like it does for me. And I'll work on the crazy sweet stuff for next time.

Do you ever have cravings? Do pies hit the spot or do you have a different panacea?

Steak and cheese pies (serves 10)
600g blade steak
4 tablespoons flour
olive oil
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks of celery
3 large carrots
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
3 Tbsp tomato paste
500ml beef stock
500ml water
2 tins kidney beans
150g grated cheddar or tasty cheese
4 sheets pre-rolled short savoury pastry (optional)
2 sheets pre-rolled flaky puff pastry
1 egg
3 Tbsp milk

Chop the steak into small cubes. Put flour into a bowl and season with salt and pepper; toss the steak in the flour to coat.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a frypan and brown the steak in batches. Set aside.

Finely chop onion, garlic and celery, then saute until soft in the same frypan. Grate carrot, then add to the frypan along with thyme, paprika and tomato paste. Fry for a remaining 2-3 minutes then add the beef stock and water.

Simmer over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 40-50 minutes, until sauce has thickened and meat is tender. Drain and rinse kidney beans and add to sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Optional step: if making fully encased pies, preheat the oven to 180 degrees grease 10 ramekins or small pie dishes (these can be done in batches if necessary). Cut the short pastry to fit the dishes and bake blind for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Heat oven to 180 C. Fill prepared pastry cases, small pie dishes or large pie dish with the prepared filling, then sprinkle cheese on top. Top with flaky puff pastry. Beat the egg with the milk and brush onto the pastry. Bake for around 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve immediately.


  1. I had a thing for pies when I was pregnant too! I craved meat early on, and pies are also a 'safe' food to eat when eating out in that they are served very hot. Sampled quite a few and came to the conclusion that Arobake's plain mince pies were my fave. I also really like homemade spinach and ricotta pies - haven't tried freezing them myself but I think they would make a great freezer meal and would be good postnatally when you could benefit from lots of leafy greens.

    1. Ooh, good tip - I haven't tried Arobake's ones.

      Spinach and ricotta is such a great combo, that is a pearler of an idea to freeze some of those for when the baby arrives and we have no interest in cooking. Thanks! :-D


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