Ox and Guinness Pie

What can be more British than the humble pie? Pie is a dish that has been enjoyed by us Brits for hundreds of years! One of the earliest references of it was in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII play: “No man’s pie is freed from his ambitious finger” , but pie has been noted as far back as the Ancient Roman period.

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British Pie Week has now been running since 2007 (2nd – 8th March) and its popularity continues to grow with some truly eclectic versions being created each year. It wasn’t so long ago that your average takeaway pie would have been from the local chippy, but now thanks to the likes of pie-oneers (see what we did there?!) such as Bristol-based pie company, Pieminister, the traditional pie is going through a bit of a renaissance. These days, you are guaranteed to find some form of delicious and inventive pies in gastro pubs to modern British restaurants, and this recipe is a particular favourite that I’ve picked up along the way.

Ingredients:

800g Ox Cheek (or other braising cuts of beef)

4 Brown Onions – Peeled & Diced 1cm

1/2 Bunch Celery – Diced 1cm

5 Juniper Berries – Crushed

1 Stick Cinnamon

2 Bay Leaves

440ml Guinness

4 Sprigs of Thyme

Water to Cover

50 g Plain Flour

50 g Unsalted Butter

6 Sheets Puff Pastry

2 Eggs – Beaten

Method:

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

1.Season the ox and brown in a hot pan with oil. Remove and de-glaze the pan with a little water, add the onion, celery, garlic, herbs and sweat for 5 minutes.

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2.Place in a braising dish with all other ingredients (except flour & butter, pastry & eggs) and cover. Place in oven and cook for 3 hours.

3.Remove from oven & remove lid. Allow to cool, then remove the beef and pull apart.

4.Strain cooking liquor into a pot (reserving the veg), place on a low heat & reduce until the total liquid is 500ml

5.In a small pot melt the butter & whisk in the flour, cook out for 5 minutes then add the reduced beef stock while stirring.

6.Mix the ox with the vegetables & thickened stock & season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.

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7.Roll the ox into tennis ball size balls and refrigerate.

8.Cut the puff pastry into circles using cutters or any round stencil. You want the bottom of the pie to be cut 11cm diameter & the top 16cm diameter.

9.Place a ball of ox on each small circle of pastry & brush the edge with egg.

10.Place the big circle of pastry on top of the ox. Using your hands, squeeze down and join the two pieces of pastry where it is egg washed. With a small knife trim the excess pastry off leaving a 1cm join.

11.Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and place into a preheated oven at 180 degrees C. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

12.Peel and blanch some vegetables in boiling water then dress with olive oil & salt.

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13.Arrange all on a plate, or match with boiled potatoes with chives and mustard.

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You can download or print the recipe from the section below!

Alex Mcclane is a chef in Bristol who is a big fan of British food and loves to get inventive with cooking. When abroad, he really misses Yeo Valley Lemon Curd Yoghurt, but at home he simply loves a delicious crackly roast pork belly and yorkshire puddings.

Ox and Guinness Pie

Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 4 Hours 30 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 800g Ox Cheek (or other braising cuts of beef)
  • 4 Brown Onions – Peeled & Diced 1cm
  • 1/2 Bunch Celery – Diced 1cm
  • 5 Juniper Berries – Crushed
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 440ml Guinness
  • 4 Sprigs of Thyme
  • Water to Cover
  • 50 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Unsalted Butter
  • 6 Sheets Puff Pastry
  • 2 Eggs – Beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
  2. Season the ox and brown in a hot pan with oil. Remove and de-glaze the pan with a little water, add the onion, celery, garlic, herbs and sweat for 5 minutes.
  3. Place in a braising dish with all other ingredients (except flour & butter, pastry & eggs) and cover. Place in oven and cook for 3 hours.
  4. Remove from oven & remove lid. Allow to cool, then remove the beef and pull apart.
  5. Strain cooking liquor into a pot (reserving the veg), place on a low heat & reduce until the total liquid is 500ml
  6. In a small pot melt the butter & whisk in the flour, cook out for 5 minutes then add the reduced beef stock while stirring.
  7. Mix the ox with the vegetables & thickened stock & season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.
  8. Roll the ox into tennis ball size balls and refrigerate.
  9. Cut the puff pastry into circles using cutters or any round stencil. You want the bottom of the pie to be cut 11cm diameter & the top 16cm diameter.
  10. Place a ball of ox on each small circle of pastry & brush the edge with egg.
  11. Place the big circle of pastry on top of the ox. Using your hands, squeeze down and join the two pieces of pastry where it is egg washed. With a small knife trim the excess pastry off leaving a 1cm join.
  12. Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and place into a preheated oven at 180 degrees C. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  13. Peel and blanch some vegetables in boiling water then dress with olive oil & salt.
  14. Arrange all on a plate, or match with boiled potatoes with chives and mustard.
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