Köstritzer Beef and Mushroom Pie

Köstritzer Beef and Mushroom Pie

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
For the pastry

  • 650g all-purpose flour
  • 250g butter, very cold and diced, plus extra for greasing the tin
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • handful mixed herbs, finely chopped
For the beef filling
  • 15g dried porcini
  • 1kg braising steak, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 2 parsnips, chopped into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 300ml Köstrizer beer (substitute with a dark ale)
  • 400ml beef stock
  • Bouquet garni of thyme, bay leaf and parsley
  • 200g bacon lardons
  • 200g button mushrooms
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

Method:

  1. Pour boiling water into a bowl and soak the porcini for approx. 20 minutes, then squeeze out, reserving the soaking water.
  2. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large casserole dish and sear and brown the meat on all sides, then set aside. Add the onions, parsnips and carrots to the pan, adding a tiny drizzle more oil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes until colored.
  3. Add the soaked porcini, cooking for 1 minute more, then sprinkle the sugar and flour over the mixture, stirring until the flour turns brown. Put in the meat and any juices back into the casserole dish and stir well. Pour the Köstritzer beer (or ale), stock and the porcini soaking liquid. Season stew, add the herbs and bring everything to a simmer. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for about 2 hours, until the meat is fork tender.
  4. While the stew is cooking in the oven, heat remaining oil in a frying pan and sauté the bacon lardons until crisp. Increase heat, add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes until golden. Remove from the heat. Once the stew is cooked, stir the mushrooms and bacon through. Leave everything to cool completely.
  5. To make the pastry crumble the flour, herbs and butter, together with a generous pinch of sea salt until completely combined, then slowly add about 200ml ice-cold water to make a soft dough. Add water in tablespoons to make sure you do not make the dough too sticky. The pastry can be made in a food processor, pulsing just enough to bring the pastry together and making sure you do not over process. Quickly knead the pastry, bring any stray bits of dough together, then wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  6. Bring the oven temperature to 220 C degrees. Assemble the pie: butter a pie dish (24 cm) and dust well with flour.
  7. Cut a third off the pastry and set aside. Roll out the pastry to a slightly thick round that will easily line the pie dish with an overhang, then line the tin. Add the beef to the dish, if the stew is too watery then use a slotted spoon to spoon the beef into the dish. Fill the pie with enough filling so that it is slightly higher than the rim of the dish. If you have a bit too much, set it aside (tastes great with a polenta mash!)
  8. Roll out remaining pastry to a thick round, which is big enough to cover the pie dish. Brush the edges of the pastry in the dish with egg, then cover with the pastry lid. Trim the edges, crimp the pastry sealing it well. Brush the top heavily with egg. Make a few little slits in the centre of the pie, place on a baking tray, then bake for 40 minutes until golden.

Notes:
When buying the meat, ask your butcher to give you a whole piece and cut into chunks yourself.
The stew actually develops with time so make this a day or two ahead and then fill the pie for a incredible rich flavor.
Once the stew has reached room temperature, place it in the refrigerator. It’s easier to fill the pie when the filling is fridge-cold.
Make double batches of this as it can be easily frozen for up to 3 months. The stew is awesome with a celeriac mash or polenta too.
Serve the stew with extra gravy and some green vegetables. I made sautéed sprouts with toasted hazelnuts and lardons.

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