Make sure you have either made or bought your puff pastry in advance.
- Mix a handful of plain flour with some fresh ground pepper, maldon salt and celery seeds.
- Chop your braising steak into bite sized pieces and toss them in the seasoned flour.
- Put the meat in a sieve and give it a good jiggle to let the excess flour escape back onto the plate.
- Brown the meat in batches in a little olive oil.
- Once all the meat is browned soften some onions in the pan.
- When the onions are translucent add chopped garlic and a stick of thyme and cook off for about 5 minutes.
- Add some chopped field mushrooms and a little more olive oil or butter if required.
- Return the browned steak to the pan and deglaze with a splash of red wine.
- Just cover the mix with beef stock, bring to the boil and then turn the heat way down to simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
The meat should be really juicy and tender and the gravy should have thickened up considerably.
This mix can be kept for a few days, or frozen until you want to use it.
- When ready to use, heat through thoroughly and season to taste.
- Pour some boiling water on some frozen peas and let stand for 2 minutes.
- Drain and add to the mix, they will continue to cook inside the pie.
- Fill ramekins, or a large ovenproof casserole, with the mix, mounding it slightly.
- Roll out your puff pastry slightly larger than the pie dish.
- Beat an egg and brush the edges of the dish with it.
- Cut a strip of pastry and stick it to the egg washed dish edge.
- Brush the pastry strip with more egg wash and lay the cut out pastry atop your mounded mix.
- Press it down onto the pastry strip, crimping it with your fingers (or a fork) as you go.
- trim the edges to neaten it up and cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape.
- Brush the pastry all over with the egg wash and bake for 30 minutes @ 180*C, or until golden and puffed up.
EDIT: with more specific instructions
For any red meat dish about 200g per person should be adequate. Maybe 250g for a big eater and if you are adding other stuff to it, like bolognaise or steak and kidney, steak and mushroom, you can get away with a little less. SO if you are just adding mushrooms I would go with 180 – 200g per person. If you are adding other veg like carrots and potatoes you can get away with about 150g per person.
Ask your butcher for braising steak. This is generally a tougher cut that needs slow cooking at low temps to make it tender, but has loads of taste. It can either come from the leg top (front leg) or the top rump (thick flank). Another cut that is traditionally used in Stek and Kidney Pies is skirt. This is very fibrous and does cook down well for steak and kidney pie, but I generally prefer to use braising steak.
I love onions and quite like chunky bits so I top and tail them, halve them from the top to the bottom (i.e. vertically instead of horizontally) and then cut thickish slices (also vertically) to form segments as opposed to rings. If you would prefer your onions to disappear into the mix, dice them, but not too finely in this chunky filling.
Whilst cooking you don’t want the temperature to raise too high or the steak will start to boil and be tough. You can leave the lid on, or partially on for the first hour or so, then leave the lid off for the last 20-30 minutes so that some of the liquid evaporates and you are left with a thick gravy. The flour you tossed the meat in way back at the beginning of the recipe will help the gravy thicken.
A good guide to how big your casserole needs to be is: Does your chopped meat fit into it comfortably? Once cooked it will have the added mushrooms but will need to be mounded slightly so do a volume test before you start cooking.