This is a lovely pie recipe, the suet crust adds another level in taste – while I have used shin of beef, you can use other cuts that require long slow cooking, for instance chuck steak or even braising steak if preferred. Serve with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. If preferred replace the suet crust with potato pastry.
1 kg shin beef – cut into 2.5 cm pieces
3 tbsp plain flour seasoned with sea salt and ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter if preferred
2 large red onions – peeled , halved and chopped
2 banana shallots – peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove – peeled and crushed to a paste
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 ripe Italian plum tomatoes – skinned, seeds remove and puréed
2 bay leaves
1.4 litres chicken stock
500 ml Hawkshead organic stout
1 marrow bone – ask the butcher to saw into 5 cm pieces
125 grams pearl barley
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon wholegrain mustard
300 grams self raising flour
75 grams shredded suet
75 grams unsalted butter
85 grams English mature white Cheddar cheese – grated
2 tsp Dijon wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Approx. 130 ml cold water
Egg wash – 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk
- Place the beef into a bowl, sift the flour over the top then toss to coat.
- Put the oil and ghee or butter into a large heavy based saucepan, place over a medium-high heat, when hot brown the beef in batches, remove and reserve.
- Add the onions, shallots and herbs, cook over a low heat without browning until tender
- Add the garlic, stir to combine before adding the tomatoes – cook for two minutes then remove the bay leaves.
- Add the stock, stout and marrow bone, return the beef then season lightly with sea salt and pepper, stir to combine then cover and cook over a very low heat for 45 minutes.
- Add the pearl barley, stir to combine then cover and simmer for another 60 minutes – removing the lid after 30 minutes – the pearl barley should be soft and the meat very tender.
- Remove the marrow bones, add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce, stir to combine.
- Remove from the heat and skim any fat from the surface and remove the bay leaves.
- While the meat is cooking, make the pastry.
- Sift the flour into a bowl, add the suet – remove butter from freezer and grate over the dry ingredients, toss to coat – do not rub in.
- Mix the mustard with 100 ml of water.
- Add the cheese, rosemary along with the mustard and water to bring the ingredients together (add more water if required), turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, knead lightly to form a dough then wrap in clingfilm, chill in the fridge until required.
To assemble and Bake
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, 355°F, gas mark 4.
- Transfer the filling to an ovenproof dish – 4 cm deep pie dish, brush the rim with egg wash.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 1 cm thick, slightly larger than the dish, fold the pastry in half and lay over the dish, trim off excess and crimp the edges so the pastry adheres to the rim.
- Brush the pastry with egg wash, cut two vents in the top
- Bake on the first rung from the bottom of the oven for approx. 45 minutes or until a light golden brown.