One guess why I've chosen this theme.
SWEENEY TODD! If you don't know me personally, then you probably don't know that my other passion--besides food--is musical theatre. In one week, I will be performing in a production of Sweeney Todd at Playhouse Merced, and meat pies are a theme in this story. So! I am celebrating our show by exploring various meat pie recipes.
I found this recipe by searching "meat pies" at foodily.com. I liked it because it didn't call for any nutmeg or allspice, and if I want anyone in my house to try a new dish, I shouldn't use those. I also liked it because it calls for store-bought pastry. Hehe.
I halved (ish) the recipe and used ramekins instead of mini pie tins. The meat I used was already sliced for fajitas so I had minimal meat-chopping to do. Score! Prep was very easy. When I tasted it, I felt like it was missing something, but I couldn't put my finger on it; however, I brought one to rehearsal--during which I am writing this post--and the three people who tried it thought it was great as it was. I am generally light-handed on salt, so that could have been it. I also used a rosato, so maybe a bolder red wine would have made a nice difference as well.
All in all, my first individual meat pies were a success! I can see myself making these again, for sure...and sprinkling with cheese for the last 2 minutes of baking. Hee. (P.S. I apologize for the photo. I was literally running out the door.)
350g store-bought shortcrust pastry
375g store-bought puff pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1.5kg round or chuck steak, cut into 1.5cm cubes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4½ cups beef stock
1 cup (250ml) red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
¼ cup (60ml) water
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF). To make the filling, heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the meat and cook for 5 minutes or until sealed. Add the tomato paste, stock, wine and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Blend the cornflour and water to a smooth paste. Add to the beef mixture and stir for 4 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and returned to a simmer. Add the salt and pepper, then set aside to cool.
Roll out the shortcrust pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3 mm thick. Cut out 6 pie bases (you may need to re-roll the scraps) to line 9cm-base x 11cm-top pie tins. Spoon in the filling. Roll out the puff pastry until 4mm thick and cut out six lids. Place on top, trim and press the edges of the pastry together. Brush the tops with the egg and make a slit. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Makes 6 pies.