No doubt many of you have heard of Desperate Dan and his infamous fondness for Cow Pie. Well, here at Hepburns, our butcher Robert is pretty much the same. Strong, indomitable and able to lift whole rib roasts with one hand, he also has a healthy interest in solid meat, gravy and pastry-based goods.
So, for National Pie Week, we have decided to dedicate this recipe to him. A combination of chuck steak and ox cheek, flavoured with carrot, onion and mushroom and encased with delicious shortcrust lid and featuring a bone marrow chimney to boot. The marrow melts down into the stew during cooking and makes everything extra luxuriant.
Ladies and gentlemen, please let us introduce you to the ‘Ravenous Rob’.
Ingredients – serves 4
400g diced beef
400g ox cheek, diced
30g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
50g unsalted butter
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stick, diced
200g button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
1 bouquet garni – thyme, bay and rosemary
1 tbsp tomato puree
250ml red wine
400ml beef stock
1 piece of bone marrow, approx. 10 cm long
500g ready-made shortcrust pastry block
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper, to season
First, heat your oven to 140°C.
Place large frying pan onto the hob over a high heat and then add the butter to melt. Quickly toss the diced beef and ox cheek with the seasoned flour in a bowl and then add to the pan to brown all over. You may have to do this in two batches.
Once done, transfer the meat to a casserole and then add the onion, carrot and celery to the frying pan, turning down the heat a touch. Sweat until soft and then add the mushrooms, tomato puree and bouquet garni to the frying pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the red wine and stir through, scrapping all the ‘bits’ from the bottom and reduce the wine by half. Once ready, pour all over the meat in the casserole and add the beef stock. Place the casserole on a medium heat on the hob and bring up to simmer before covering with a lid and placing into the oven.
Braise gently for 3 hours, until the meat is soft and tender and then take out and leave to cool. If you leave this overnight in the fridge, this will taste even better.
To make the pie, take the meat out of the fridge and bring to room temperature. Also remove the bouquet garni.
Heat your oven to 180°C and spoon the meat mix into a deep pie dish.
Flour your surface and roll out the shortcrust pastry until it is about 1cm thick.
Put the bone marrow in the centre of the dish and drape the pastry over, making a cut in the middle to help poke the bone marrow through and seal the pastry against the bone.
Trim any excess pastry off and then crimp the edges to the side of the dish. Brush with the egg wash and place in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.
Serve with lots of mash.
Top tip: True pie aficionados might want to make this with a proper base. In which case, buy an additional block of shortcrust and roll to line the base before spooning the meat in. And then you come to crimping, brush the edges with some of that egg wash to seal.