Beef and cheese pie
Pies in the UK, particularly savoury ones, are a regular thing, but in our house, they are a delicacy. And what better time to eat delicacies than during the holidays? It is actually easier to make than it seems, and would be a great gift or addition to a pot-luck – it can be eaten hot or cold (ideal taste) and can even be eaten 2 days after baking.
Remember, to make sure the bottom layer of pastry is not raw, the pie must bake in the bottom of the oven, the pastry dough must rest at least 30 minutes, and you must make vents on the top layer of pastry for the steam to escape while baking. The filling must also be creamy and not too runny. The taste, of course, depends on the cheese and other ingredients. This pie represents the holidays for us – at least in our house.
20‒30 ml grape seed oil
300 g pumpkin, peeled and cubed
300 g mushrooms (champignons, eringi), chopped
300 g beef, cubed
320 g cream
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
bunch parsley, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp toasted cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp English mustard
2 tbsp wheat flour
sea salt to taste
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
chilli flakes, if desired
200 g Stilton cheese, in pieces
410‒430 g wheat flour
pinch of sea salt
250 g cold butter, cubed, + butter for greasing pie plate
1 medium egg
water as needed
1 small egg
10 ml water
For the filling, heat oil in a pan and add the pumpkin and mushrooms on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the mushrooms are golden and the pumpkin is soft. Add the meat, turn up the heat and cook until the meat is golden. Add cream, mustard, rosemary, parsley, fennel, cumin, garlic, and sauté, covered, on low heat about 10 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the flour and cook for another 2 minutes. When done, cool completely (12 h is best). If you wish, you can add chilli now.
Prepare the dough 1 h before making the pie. In a bowl, add flour, salt, and butter cut in until it looks like little peas (you can have some larger pieces, but mostly smaller pieces). In a glass, beat an egg, add a pinch of salt and add water to make a total of 250 ml. Add to the flour and make the dough. The dough should be pliable and soft, but not sticky. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Beat the egg and water in a bowl for the egg wash.
Heat the oven to 180°. Grease a 23 cm pie plate or several smaller ones (I used three pie plates 12 cm in diameter).
Roll out 2/3 of the dough 3 mm thick. Cut the pastry to fit the bottom(s) and sides with a bit of overhang. Place the pastry in the bottom and add the filling. Sprinkle with cheese. Brush the edges with the egg wash. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the top with a 5 mm extra edge. Cut a cross in the centre to release the steam and place on top of the pie. Crimp the edges to seal.
Place in the oven one rack below the middle and bake for 40‒50 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove and serve hot or cool, and heat up later if desired.
Inspired by Lindex Kids Christmas collection
Location: Fon Stricka Villa, Riga (a place where magic happens)
Christmas tree delivery by www.eglupiegade.lv
Style, idea and recipes: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s