This pie is all about flavour, and it delivers. This recipe could be done in a slow cooker, but they can leave the braise to wet and the sauce, when thickened, would dilute the meat and mushroom content.
If using a slow cooker, extra potato flour may be needed. You could also remove some of the liquid, so long as it does not dilute the flavour.
Ingredients 500gm chuck steak
1 large, or 2 medium, brown onions
4-5 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 large Portobello mushrooms
2 tbsp. tomato paste
120ml red wine
250ml beef stock
Fresh herbs (I used rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage and bay)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt (to taste)
2 1/2 tbsp. potato flour
1 sheet shortcrust pastry
1 sheet puff pastry
Egg wash (yolk and milk)
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Cut steak and mushroom into 1.5cm cubes and onion into 0.5cm dice. Wrap the herbs in muslin, and tie with string to make a bouquet garni.
In a heavy-based, oven-proof pan, add some olive oil. Sweat the onion and garlic over a low heat until soft (approx. 4 mins).
Increase heat and brown the beef (5 mins), then add and cook the mushrooms, half the pepper, and tomato paste (5 mins).
Add the wine and boil (3 mins), then pour in the stock and the bouquet garni.
Place in the oven when it boils.
After 1.5 hours, remove from the oven. Remove the bouquet garni, then place on the heat, and bring to the boil.
Add the potato flour in 3 batches, stirring all the time until sauce thickens. Correct seasoning, adding remaining pepper and sea salt, and remove from the heat.
Transfer to a bowl and put it the fridge until it is cool.
Preheat the oven to 190°C, use top and bottom element feature if your oven has it.
Grease the pie dishes and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Line the bottom of the dish with the shortcrust pastry. If the pastry tears, you need to cut and paste to fill gaps. Brush with the egg wash. Make sure the edge of the pastry has been brushed with the egg wash also.
Spoon the beef filling into the pastry case. Cover with the puff pastry, making sure the edges of both pastries have good contact.
Brush with wash and prick some holes in the top.
Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, until the top is golden.