Living in the UK means a pie party everyday – Shepherd’s Pie, Steak and Kidney Pie (one of my all time loves), Squab Pie, Mince Pie, Meat and Potato Pie, Chicken and Mushroom Pie and just when you think you cannot stuff one more oozing and delicious pie, it’s time to have a Pasty . Cornish Pasties are really just pies of a different name and another delight for me – pop into any pub or wander the streets of London or any town in the UK) long enough and the pie choices can be overwhelming. We will just have to eat as many as we can.
Funny enough, much as I adored the pie trend in the UK, I don’t often make them at home – a lack that I am going to rectify immediately with this amazing recipe from Saveur for Steak and Stilton Pie. The Honor Your Roots #HGEATS twitter chat put me to thinking about my roots – of which at least 40% are British and then I read the engrossing article from Saveur on Butcher’s Banquet: England’s Lincolnshire Wolds. Tucked away on the eastern edge of England is Meridian Meats in Louth. Jim Sutcliffe is the butcher and farmer – all at the tender age of 25. He is the epitome of Slow Food and has at once an old-fashioned and progressive view of food and how to share it – he blogs, he posts videos to Youtube and still keeps traditional Market days.
“It benefits me on both sides, being a farmer and a butcher,” Sutcliffe said. “You spend the best part of two years putting tender loving care into the animal. I know what qualities I need as a butcher—the size and the shape and the cover of the fat. Our animals are slaughtered at a small abattoir very close by. I can monitor all of it.”
Check out Jim (Meridian Meats on Facebook) and Meridian Meats for inspiration on how to truly honor your roots and then get to cooking this Steak and Stilton Pie – one of my contributions to honoring my own roots for the #HGEATS chat this week!
- cup olive oil
- 1 ¼ lb. beef chuck, cut into 1″ cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large yellow onions, sliced
- 2 ribs celery, thickly sliced
- 2 small carrots, thickly sliced
- 2 tbsp. minced rosemary
- 1 12-oz. bottle stout beer
- cup flour
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 tsp. mustard powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 10 oz. mushrooms, quartered
- 6 oz. English Stilton, crumbled
- 1 10-oz. package frozen peas
- 1 14-oz. package puff pastry
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Heat oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, 10–12 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add garlic, onions, celery, carrots, and rosemary to pan; cook until soft, 10–12 minutes. Add beer; cook until almost dry, 18–20 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, until smooth. Return beef to pan along with stock, mustard, and bay leaf; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, covered partially, until beef is barely tender, about 1½ hours; set aside. Heat butter in a 10″ skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until browned all over, about 8 minutes; stir into beef mixture along with cheese and peas.
- Heat oven to 375°. Divide beef mixture among four 6″ pie tins (12 oz. each). Roll pastry into a 14″ square; cut out four 6″ circles. Brush tin edges with egg; place 1 circle over each; press to seal. Cut slits into pastry; brush with egg. Bake until browned, about 40 minutes.