A steak and mushroom pie succeeds in being rustic and relaxed yet celebratory at the same time. Whenever I place one of these on the table, I can’t help swelling with pride. Any leftovers can be frozen and reheated.
600g shop-bought shortcrust pastry
1 egg yolk blended with 1 tbsp milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
1 celery heart, sliced
950g chuck or stewing steak, trimmed of fat and diced
2 heaped tbsp plain flour
90ml medium sherry
200ml red wine
200ml beef stock or water
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
sea salt, black pepper
200g shiitake or other flavourful mushrooms, sliced
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan and fry the leeks and celery over a low heat for about 8 minutes until soft and just beginning to colour, stirring occasionally. Remove to a bowl and reserve.
2. Turn up the heat and colour the meat half at a time, removing it to a bowl. Return the meat and vegetables to the pan, sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat everything thoroughly. Pour over the sherry, wine and beef stock or water, stirring well to a smooth sauce, and add the herbs and some seasoning. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover and braise over a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. While this is cooking, heat the remaining oil in a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat, add the mushrooms and cook, tossing them until they are soft and coloured. Once the meat is cooked, remove the herbs and check the seasoning, stir in the mushrooms and leave to cool.
4. Thinly roll out two thirds of the pastry on a floured work surface and line a 2-litre pie dish. Don’t worry if you have to mend the pastry in places – it won’t show once it’s cooked. Tip the steak filling into the pie and paint the rim above it with the eggwash using a pastry brush.
5. Thinly roll the remaining third of the pastry to fit the surface. Lay the pastry for the lid on top of the pie and trim the edges, leaving 1cm for shrinkage. Now press the edges together using a fork. Paint the surface with the eggwash. For the pie decoration, roll out some of the pastry trimmings and cut out some leaves – or a flag if you’re feeling patriotic. Paint these with the eggwash too.
6. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake the steak and mushroom pie for 45-50 minutes until nice and golden. Serve straight away.
Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling: Clare Lewis. Styling: Sue Radcliffe.