Beef, stout and oyster pie

4
5 hours

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 500g of chuck steak, diced
  • 1 large carrot, quartered and cut into 2cm long pieces
  • 6 oysters, shucked
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • flour for dusting
  • 1 pint of stout, Guinness or porter
  • 1 tsp mushroom ketchup, (if you don’t have it, leave it out or use 1 tsp balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • salt
  • pepper

For the pastry

  • 300g of plain flour
  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 100g of suet, shredded
  • salt
  • iced water
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

1
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
2
Add the carrots and onion to a cast iron casserole and colour over a medium heat
3
Dust the meat with the flour and add it to the vegetables, stirring until nicely browned all over
4
Immediately pour in the stout, mushroom ketchup and herbs. If the meat isn’t completely covered by the liquid, add some water or extra stout until it’s just covered
5
Bring to the boil without putting on the lid
6
Once boiling, put on the lid and place on a low shelf in the oven for 3–3.5 hours. Cooking time depends on a number of factors, including the quality of the meat used and how lean it is. Check on it regularly so you don’t end up with dry meat – it is done when it is just about to fall apart
7
For the pastry lid, combine the flour, butter, suet and salt in a large mixing bowl and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour. Keep on doing this until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
8
Pour in the water and start pressing the liquid into the breadcrumb-like mixture. Be gentle as you must be careful not to overwork the dough
9
When you have created a rough dough, wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for an hour or more. You can prepare the pastry the day before if you’re feeling organised
10
Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
11
Ladle the stew into your shallow pie dish and distribute the oysters neatly so everyone will find some in their plate
12
Use the beaten egg to eggwash the edges of the pie dish
13
Take your pastry out of the fridge and place on a floured work surface. Roll out to a 1cm thickness, ensuring it is larger than your pie dish
14
Carefully pick up the pastry and drapeit over the pie dish. Trim the edges of the pastry so you get a nice neat lid, then crimp the edges by using your thumb or a fork so the pastry lid is closed tightly
15
Decorate the pie lid if you like and egg-wash generously before baking on a low shelf of the oven
16
The pie should be nice and golden after 40–45 minutes. Serve with peas and carrots because you've got to have peas and carrots with a pie