Perfect Steak and Mushroom Pie and why you should befriend a butcher

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A good old fashioned Steak and Mushroom Pie is the perfect winter supper. Make it easier by pre-making your puff pastry and slow cooking your filling. I get all my meat from Paul, a fabulous butcher who works at a local farm shop. He is passionate about what he does and ensures that all his meat is local, free range, well hung and properly butchered. He often adds in extra beef bones with my orders so that I can make my own stock, and is always ready with advice on what cuts to use, what alternative recipes to try and which meat and suppliers he deems best at any given time.

If you don’t live in the countryside or near a farm shop, try and locate a small private butcher and befriend him. You’d be surprised at how eager the good ones are to share their knowledge.

This pie was made with local free range Aberdeen Angus, but was not as expensive as you might think. Paul gave me a few cuts of braising steak. Slow cooking makes all the difference with some of the cheaper cuts, and Paul always hangs his meat for at least 4 weeks. A little longer if he knows it’s for me.

I made little pot pies but you could make one big dish or individual pasties, although the filling is already cooked. I added some frozen peas to give the rich steak and mushroom a little light relief, as well as some colour. This really was a meal in one, although a dedicated trencherman could probably manage some potatoes as well. I’d be more inclined to serve it with a fresh green salad.

For the full recipe for Free range Steak and Mushroom Pie with Homemade Puff Pastry click this link or visit the Vanielje Kitchen Cook Book (vkcb).

Andrew of Spittoon Extra suggests a bottle of Caiarossa, 2004, Tuscany, Italy (Available from Berry Brothers for £33 ) as a great accompaniment to this dish. He serves the peas separately, and says he would have added kidneys as well as he likes the added flavour and texture it brings. My family are decidedly anti-kidney, thus mushrooms instead, however I absolutely agree with Andrew. So if you do like kidneys add some in, I personally think they’re delicious. For more detailed wine notes check out his post at Spittoon Extra. thanks Andrew.

This is my entry for this month’s Mini Pie Revolution hosted by Anne at Redacted Recipes. Anne is determined to bring the joy of mini pies to the world. You go girl!


8 Responses to “Perfect Steak and Mushroom Pie and why you should befriend a butcher”

  1. on 17 Mar 2008 at 2:05 am courtney

    Is hanging similar to aging the meat? I have been meaning to make my own puff pastry. This is a great dish.

  2. on 17 Mar 2008 at 2:07 am african vanielje

    Courtney, yes the meat is hung up in a controlled temperature and dry aged, as opposed to smoked, salted or marinated to preserve it.

  3. on 17 Mar 2008 at 1:27 pm bleeding espresso

    Couldn’t agree more about befriending a butcher. Mine comes from a long line of butchers, and that’s exactly why we go there :)

    Also? This looks *so* good. I love steak and mushrooms together, or separate…just love ’em both so darn much 😉

  4. on 17 Mar 2008 at 2:14 pm Ann

    Looks delicious, Inge! Thanks for participating!

  5. on 17 Mar 2008 at 2:51 pm african vanielje

    Sognatrice, I agree, a good combo. Also, there is something comforting about a long line of craftsmen or artisans. They seem to embody old values that we’ve all but abandoned. I think this is one of my favourite things about living in the country.

    Ann, sorry I forgot to take a pic before I dished it out of the ramekin. next time.

  6. on 17 Mar 2008 at 10:57 pm michelle @ TNS

    i’m jealous of your excellent butcher. i don’t have anything like that near me where the meat wouldn’t be prohibitively expensive.

    i love individual savory pies like this. i often make chicken pot pies in individual ramekins and freeze them for the world’s best TV dinners.

  7. on 18 Mar 2008 at 12:28 am african vanielje

    Michelle, the benefit of knowing the butcher is great meat, but the cheaper cuts that never make it to the supermarket. Your chicken pot pies sound delish!

  8. on 18 Mar 2008 at 8:24 am Nina

    What a lovely pie – comfort food at it’s best. I made a beef pie just last weeks, but one can never have too many pie recipes. Thx for the inspiration.

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