Delicious Beef Bourguignon pie
With soft pieces of beef, salty bacon lardons and rich red wine gravy, this is a delicious meal.
You can forget the pastry lining if you wish and just go for the crispy rough-puff lid. It is worth making the stew a day or two ahead, as it becomes even more tasty.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the casserole pan over a high heat. Add half the beef and cook until browned. Transfer to a large bowl, then repeat with the rest of the beef.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the empty pan, then add the bacon and cook over a high heat until just golden. Transfer to the bowl with the beef. You may have some lovely burnt bits left on the bottom of the pan – don't throw these away as they add flavour. Splash in some water, scrape them up with a spatula or wooden spoon and add them to the beef.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms, and cook for 3–4 minutes over a medium heat to get a little colour. Reduce the heat and return the meat to the pan. Add the thyme and flour and stir in well. Add the Bovril, wine and stock, stir well and bring to a very gentle simmer.
- Cover tightly with the lid and place in the centre of the oven to cook for 2. hours or until the meat is just tender. You want this to cook slowly, with very little visible 'action', just a murmur of bubbles on the surface. If the level of the liquid looks a little low, add some water and give it a good stir. Check on it every 40 minutes or so. To see if the meat is tender, squidge a piece between your fingers or two spoons – it should give really easily. Season with pepper (no salt) and leave to cool.
- Turn up the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 7 and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf to preheat. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry to about 3mm thick and use it to line your pie dish, letting the excess pastry drape over the sides. Pile in the filling. Roll out the remaining pastry to about 5mm thick, to the shape of the
pie, allowing enough excess to reach just over the edges. Place on the pie and trim away any excess.
- Press the pastry edges together with your fingers to seal, or use the back of a fork. Brush with beaten egg. Make two deep incisions on opposite sides of the pie – these will act as vents for
steam to escape during baking.
- Scrunch up your pastry trimmings and roll out to about 2mm thick, then cut out some pastry leaves and use them to decorate the top of the pie. Brush with more beaten egg. If you don't have time for this, you can sprinkle the top of the pie with polenta, which gives a really pretty texture.
- Place the pie in the oven on the preheated baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas mark 6 for another 30 minutes or until the top is puffy and golden.
Serves 6 – 8
- 1 x 3-litre lidded ovenproof casserole pan
- 1 x 2-litre ovenproof pie dish
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 550g lean beef, e.g. chuck, blade or topside, cut into 3cm chunks
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 300g shallots, halved
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
- 500g chestnut mushrooms, halved
- 3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped and roughly chopped
- 2 heaped tbsp plain flour, plus a little for dusting
- 1 tbsp Bovril
- 250ml red wine
- 450ml good-quality hot beef stock
- 700g all-butter puff pastry
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- Polenta, for sprinkling (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Recipe courtesy of: The Higgidy Cookbook by Camilla Stephens