This week I am making a beef, onion and mustard pie with honey roast parsnips.
The definition of a pie is ‘a baked dish which is usually made up of pastry dough casing, with sweet or savoury ingredients’.
Pies are always defined by their crusts. A filled pie has a pastry lining the baking dish, while the filling is placed on top of the pastry and left open like a jam tart.
A top-crust pie, which can also be known as cobbler, has the filling at the bottom of the dish, which is covered with pastry before baking. Also, a two-crust pie has the filling completely enclosed in the pastry shell.
Flaky pastry is the typical kind used for pie crusts, but many things can be used including short pastry, mashed potatoes and filo pastry.
The first pies appeared around 9500 BC, in the Egyptian period or New Stone Age. Early pies were in the form of flat or round crusty cakes called galettes, consisting of a crust of ground oats, wheat, rye, or barley. Honey was normally a treat inside.
Pies have remained a staple part of many people’s diet in colder northern Europe, with regional variations on locally-grown and available meats.
The Cornish pasty is an excellent example of this, fulfilling the working man’s lunch needs.
The pie we have chosen uses some classic ingredients and combinations, with the added boost of oyster sauce to give it great depth of flavour.
Kevin Bingham is the chef patron of Restaurant 27 at Southsea. Call (023) 9287 6272.
BEEF, ONION AND MUSTARD PIE WITH HONEY ROAST PARSNIPS
2lb stewing steak diced
Two onions, chopped
Two carrots, peeled and chopped
Two sticks of celery, peeled and chopped
Four star anise
A litre of stock
Two tsp of oyster sauce
Two tsp of mustard
Two bay leaves
1lb of short pastry
One egg yolk
One tbsp of honey
Knob of butter
Fry diced beef in a frying pan until golden brown. Drain into a sieve and place into a saucepan.
Fry the vegetables, star anise and bay leaves. Add the beef to the saucepan. Lightly season and pour in the stock.
Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, so approximately two hours. Keep checking it. When cooked, leave to rest for around half-an-hour.
Strain the ingredients through a sieve, and keep hold of the cooking juice.
Reduce the liquid until it creates a thick sauce. Then add the oyster sauce and mustard. Pick the meat from the sieve and add the sauce. Set aside.
Roll out the pastry until it’s quarter of an inch thick. Cut into two round circles (one for the base and one for the lid).
Line the pie mould with one circle, add the filling and top with the second circle. Glaze with egg yolk and crimp the edges with a fork. Bake for 40 minutes on gas mark four.
For the parsnips, peel and cut into them quarters and lightly sauté in olive oil and butter for approximately 20 minutes.
Add the honey and seasoning, and cook for a further 10 minutes.