Seeing as it’s December I have another delicious treat for you presented with a festive twist! If you’ve been lured here expecting sweet pies to be enjoyed with a glass of sherry you’ll probably find yourself disappointed. You may think I’ve finally lost it (savoury mince pies at Christmas?) but you may also have noticed that I have some new snowflake cutters which I’m very excited about and am using for everything at the minute. These pies are a great way of using up leftovers – I’ve used beef mince for these but you could easily mince leftover turkey, goose or nut roast to make the filling, just substitute the stock for chicken or vegetable. These were baked in a Yorkshire pudding tin but a large muffin tin would also work – you want a good balance of pastry to filling. This could also of course be made as one big pie to be shared, it really is open to interpretation and preference (and how much you have leftover!). These make a great treat for lunch or are perfect for cold December nights – if you cook them in pie tins they can be frozen and brought out at later date as a quick and easy midweek dinner.
It may not surprise you that I’ve snuck potatoes into this recipe by incorporating them into the pastry. The addition of mashed potato helps make a light, soft dough which gives these pies more of a pudding feel without the addition of suet. For this recipe I have used Yukon Gold – not just perfect for roasting the slightly waxy properties of this generally fluffy variety help bind the pastry together to make a good base. Most good mashing varieties could be used for the pastry so long as they aren’t too dry. I have also of course used our Strong Stoneground Wholemeal Flour. This brings a slightly nutty taste to the pastry and adds some extra texture with its wholegrain inclusions. If you haven’t tried our flour yet this is a simple recipe to start on, and if you do decide to give it a go please let me know what you think.
Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Makes 6 pies
For the filling:
300g beef mince
250ml beef stock
1 medium red onion
1tbsp tomato purée
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Morghew Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
Salt and pepper
- Peel the potatoes and cut into even chunks. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water before bringing to the boil and simmering for 15 minutes (or until tender).
- Once cooked through drain the potatoes and briefly return to a low heat to steam dry. Add the milk and mash until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Put the flour, a pinch of salt and poppy seeds into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until fine breadcrumbs are achieved.
- Once the potato has cooled add to the breadcrumb mixture and mix thoroughly to combine.
- You should now have a ball of soft dough. Wrap in cling film (or seal in a container) and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Whilst the pastry is in the fridge begin to prepare the filling. Slice the onion finely and fry in a little oil with the mince.
- Make the beef stock with 250ml boiling water and stir in the Worcestershire sauce and tomato purée.
- Once the onions have started to soften and the meat is browned pour over the stock mix and leave to simmer on the hob over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Once the liquid has reduced remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan/Gas Mark 6). Remove the pastry from the fridge once chilled and divide in half, allowing one half to be slightly larger than the other.
- Dust your surface with some flour and place the larger half of pastry in the centre. Sprinkling a little flour on the top of the pastry roll out to approx. 5mm thick.
- Using a circular cutter that is slightly larger than the tin you are using (I used a Yorkshire pudding tin but a large muffin tin would work just as well for individual pies) cut out the bases.
- Gently arrange your bases in the cups of your tin, allowing the pastry to come up and also line the edges.
- Spoon some of the mince mixture into each pastry cup – you don’t want too much gravy or it will become soggy but enough to keep the filling moist.
- Roll out the remaining half of your pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick and cut out your pie tops. I used festive snowflakes for mine but you could make stars, circles or weave thin strips across the top in a lattice. These pies aren’t just for Christmas!
- Brush the edges of your pies with beaten egg and cover with your pie tops, gently pressing the pastry together where it meets.
- Brush the tops of the pies with the remaining beaten egg and place in the pre-heated oven to cook for 20-25 minutes (until the pastry has turned crisp and golden).
- Once cooked remove from the oven, allow to briefly cool and gently lift from the baking tin. Serve with vegetables, home made wedges or simply enjoy on their own!