Brits appear to be a nation of pie fanatics, with 75% of UK consumers eating at least one pie a month.
When better to dig into our favourite pie than British Pie Week (6th – 12th March).
2 tbsp olive oil
140g pack cubed pancetta
1kg braising steak, cubed
4 tbsp plain flour
1 bottle red wine or 750ml beef stock
4 thyme sprigs
600g whole shallots
2 tbsp redcurrant or cranberry jelly
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 egg yolk
For the mustard crust
350g plain flour
1 tbsp English mustard powder
200g butter , frozen
Heat half the olive oil in a large pan and cook the pancetta for a few mins until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Dust the steak with the flour, then brown in the hot pancetta oil – to stop the pan getting overcrowded, do this in two batches. Return all the steak to the pan along with the pancetta.
Add the wine and thyme and bring to the boil. Partially cover with a lid, leaving a gap of about 1cm, and simmer for 2 hrs until the meat is tender, stirring from time to time, and once the sauce has thickened and reduced a little, cover the pan completely.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the remaining olive oil and the shallots together. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 45 mins until soft and golden brown.
To make the pastry crust, sift the flour and mustard into a large bowl, then coarsely grate in the frozen butter. Drizzle over 6-8 tbsp cold water and taking care not to over-handle it, lightly bring together to make a firm dough. Wrap and chill for 30 mins.
Stir the roasted shallots, jelly and vinegar into the beef and season, then spoon into a 2-litre pie dish. Raise the oven temp to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.