Living in a hot climate I thought my days of good English staples were behind me. However, as those who live the expat life in the sunshine will know, you sometimes have these homesick cravings for food.
And in my case food my mum and gran used to make me.
When it was cold and frosty outside, to keep me warm after I’d walked back from school in the dark at 4pm!
At the moment in Dubai, it is winter, it is cold in the morning (think a mild springs day in England cold….) and I just felt like making the warm hug that is a winters steak pie. Of course by the time its midday and back at 25 degrees I *should* change my mind, however I am anything if not stubborn.
Now, I may have mentioned once or twice, that the husband is VERY fussy. And will not eat onions (except when I blend them and don’t tell him, which I do on many occassions). And onions form the basis of a lot of food. A lot. So I have to adapt and hope for the best. The original recipe I followed is one of John Barrowman’s and can be found here.
400g cubed stewing steak
1 tbsp seasoned flour
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
500ml beef stock (or I used 500ml hot water and 1 tbsp demi-glace from Knorr**)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 packet ready made puff pastry
Milk to glaze
How I did it
1. Add the flour and the steak to a plastic bag (one of the food ones, NOT an Asda carrier bag or similar, those have holes and you will end up with flour everywhere) and shake
2. Heat the oil in a large pan, and brown off the steak
3. Add the water/stock, carrot and herbs. Bring to the boil
4. Turn hob right down, cover and simmer for an hour-hour and a half. Stir occassionally! You know it’s done when the beef is falling apart and the sauce is thickening up
5. Pre-heat the oven to 190
6. Add the filling to a pie dish, mine was a Pyrex dish, rectangular, probably around 20cm x 10cm
7. Roll out the (lovely and easy) shop bought puff pastry and lay over the pie dish. Push down with your thumb all around the edge
8. Trim the edges (I used scissors) but allow for a bit of overlap as the pastry shrinks! Slice 2 holes in the top and brush with milk
9. Pop in the oven and cook for 1-1.5 hours until the pastry is golden brown and risen
** For those of you that have never heard of Demi-Glace (and I hadn’t until I moved to Dubai and one of my friends, who hates waste, had a fair bit left that was close to expiry and so it ended up in my cupboard with strict instructions to use!) I am still not 100% sure but it says “the classic base to brown sauces” and I take it to mean its a cross somewhere between gravy and stock. Though I do use it as gravy on its own!!