Tender beef, steeped in cider, served in a light pastry case, topped with potato and apple mash and flambéed in brandy
Photo: Joe Sarah
- Pie filling:
- 1kg Diced beef (chuck/skirt) cut into medium pieces
- 40g flour for dusting
- 1-2 tablespoons of oil for frying the beef
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 500ml cider
- small bunch thyme
- 3 bay
- 200ml dark beef stock
- 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
- Short crust pastry:
- 250g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 125g cold butter
- splash of cold water
- For the mash:
- 800g Maris piper potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped
- Splash of warm milk
- 1 egg yolk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Knob of butter
- To flambé
- 80ml apple brandy
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- To make the pie filling: dust the beef in flour and season.
- Heat the oil in an oven-proof pan and sear the beef for 3-4 minutes until browned. Do this in batches to avoid overcrowding. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Reduce the heat and in the same pan, fry the onions, carrot and garlic on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened. Return the browned beef to the pan with cider, thyme, bay, beef stock and tomato puree. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Put the lid on the pan and transfer to the oven and cook for 1.5-2 hours till the beef is tender.
- Remove the pan from the heat, cool completely.
- To make the pastry: put the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add enough of the cold water to bind the dough together. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.
- Roll out your pastry to fit the pie dishes and add the beef.
- To make the mash: place the potatoes and apples in a heavy saucepan with water and simmer for about 20 minutes until cooked. Drain.
- Return potatoes and apples to the saucepan and cook off any excess liquid.
- Add warm milk, the egg yolk and seasoning, then mash well.
- Divide the mash between the pies and fork up into a beacon.
- Dot with butter and place the pies onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
- For the full effect, ignite brandy in a ladle and pour over the beacons.