Making scrumptious beef pies

Homemade pies are a hearty and much loved mealtime favourite. With these hints and shortcuts you’ll be preparing them from scratch in no time at all. From preparing the pastry to the beef filling or assembling a pie there’s really nothing to worry about.

The techniques needed are quite straightforward and the following tips will ease you into it.

Beef fillings

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:

Plan ahead

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.

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From The Community

Jul 24, 2014 #

This is a good, practical newsletter. Thank you for it. Could you give us a recipe for home-made gluten free pastry? those of us who need it can't use the commercial variety. Thanks Louisa Crosslé

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