The techniques needed are quite straightforward and the following tips will ease you into it.
A delicious beef pie filling can be as simple as your favourite casserole. As a guide one quantity of beef casserole (using 1kg beef) will make one pie to serve 4-6.
Try some of these recipes as the basis for your pie:
Why not make a double batch when you next make a beef casserole? Serve up half that night, and freeze the other half to make into a delicious beef pie.
Making your own pastry
Crisp, flaky, tender pastry can be made in the food processor:
- The butter and water must be cold before you begin - cold ingredients make flaky pastry.
- Use the metal blade and place the flour and salt in the bowl.
- Add cold, chopped butter. The butter must not be soft.
- Use the pulse button to mix the flour and butter until mixture is crumbly.
- With the processor running slowly add the cold water. Keep the processor running only until the mixture comes together and forms a soft ball.
- Put the pastry onto a lightly floured board, and gently knead for 30 seconds. Over kneading will make it tough.
- Flatten it out to a small round to make it easier to roll out.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This resting time ensures the pastry won’t shrink as it cooks.
Even if you don’t have a food processor you can make the pastry by hand, rub the butter through the flour with your fingertips until it’s crumbly. Use a knife to fold the water in and to bring mixture together.
Tips on using store-bought pastry
- Puff pastry is a good choice, look for one that lists butter as the top ingredient, as it will give you the flakiest and best tasting result. Cook your pies at 220°C, the high temperature ensures the puff pastry rises and forms lots of delicate flaky layers.
- Filo pastry will also give your pies a crunchy top. Brush the sheets of filo with melted butter, scrunch each filo sheet individually and use to top the pies.