Thursday, 14 February 2013

H is for Husbands

I am lucky.  Look what my husband made for Valentine's supper!  The recipe is a combination of Jamie Oliver's steak and ale pie filling and a Paul Hollywood hot water pastry crust.

Preheat the oven to 220°C

For the filing, gather

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 25 grms butter
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 medium red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 kg quality shin of beef, diced in 1" pieces with the bone
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400 ml ale
  • 2 heaped tbpn plain flour
  • 1.5 litres beef stock
  • 140 grms pearl barley
  • 3 teaspn English mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • S&P


  1. Put the oil, butter and herbs into a large casserole pan on a high heat.
  2. Add the onion, meat, the shin bone and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir together, and cook for 10 minutes, scrapping the bottom occasionally.
  4. Add the flour and mix in before adding the tomato purée, ale and stock.
  5. Stir until the liquid begins to simmer.
  6. Turn the heat down very low, pop the lid on and let it cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. When the hour is up, stir in the pearl barley.
  8. Put the lid back on and simmer for another hour, then remove the lid and simmer for a further 30 minutes, or until the meat shreds easily and the gravy is thick.
  9. Spoon away any oil from the top, then stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce
  10. Season to taste then set aside to make the pastry.

For the hot water crust, gather

  • 265 grms all purpose (plain) flour
  • 55 grms strong white bread flour
  • 55 grms unsalted butter, cubed
  • 65 grms lard
  • 1 teaspn salt
  • 135 mls boiling water
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Mix the flours together in a bowl and then rub in the butter.
  2. Melt the lard and dissolve the salt in the water.
  3. Pour the liquid lard into the water, mix and then pour that onto the flour.
  4. Mix with a pastry cutter until the dough is cool enough to handle and then kneed together into a ball on a lightly floured board.
  5. Knead for two minutes until the dough is smooth.
  6. Working quickly, take two thirds of the pastry, roll out till it'll line your bowl.
  7. Then roll out the remaining third until it's big enough to top the pie.
  8. Add in the beef contents, discarding the shin bone as you do, pop in a pie funnel and then top the pie with the pastry lid.
  9. Seal and then glaze with the egg.
  10. Bake for 20 mins at 220°C and then turn the oven down and bake for a further hour at 180°C.  [As we have an Aga we just transfer the pie from the roasting oven to the baking oven]

Serve the pie with garden peas.

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