Looking out of the window today, it's hard to believe that only 48 hours ago, there was snow on the ground. The weather the last few weeks has been somewhat unpredictable, from snow to rain to clear skies and back again - I don't think I remember a time when snowstorm follows snowstorm in the way it has this year. Anyway, on one such evening last week, when the snow was coming down, and Gary and I were trying to come to some compromise over who would brave the weather to get to the supermarket, desperation to keep warm led me to the freezer to see whether there was anything that could be salvaged to form a meal.
I came up with this Minced Beef and Vegetable Pie, which we had with some leftover oven chips and onion rings. I was very pleasantly surprised by the taste and how well the whole pie held together, so thought I would share it with you all!
|Minced Beef Pie|
These are the ingredients I used, this made one large pie, plus two smaller pies which Gary had for lunch over the following days. It is really a case of using up what is available, so feel free to add or omit ingredients from the beef mixture as necessary...
For the shortcrust pastry
- 250g plain flour
- 125g butter
- pinch of salt
- 100ml ice cold water
- 1 egg, beaten
For the Minced Beef filling
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 500g lean minced beef
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 Knorr Beef stock cube
- 2 serving packets Bird's Eye frozen mixed vegetables (mixed peas, carrots and brocolli)
- 1 tin Broad Beans, drained
- 100ml beef gravy made from instant gravy mix
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a pie dish.
To make the pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl, and mix in the salt. Cube the butter and rub into the flour to produce a fine crumb like texture. Add the water a tbsp at a time. I have quite warm hands, so use a fork for this stage to stir the water through the mixture, and add a small amount at a time until the pastry starts to ball up. I usually do not have to use the full amount of the water. Once the pastry starts to ball, use your hands to gather the mixture together and shape the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the oil, and then add the minced beef to brown the meat. Add the herbs and stock cube and stir well. Once the meat is fully cooked, reduce the heat, and add the vegetables straight from the freezer, and the broad beans. Stir well. Finally, once the vegetables have warmed through, make up the instant gravy, and add to the pan. Place a lid over the pan and simmer on a low heat whilst you blind bake the pastry.
Split the dough into two halves, wrap one half in clingfilm and place back in the fridge. Roll out the pastry to around 5mm thick, and transfer to the pie dish. Press the pastry into the corners and ridges of the dish, and then trim off any excess. Cover the pastry with a sheet of foil, and place in the oven for 15 minutes to blind bake - so we can avoid any soggy bottoms! After 15 minutes, remove the foil, and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to crisp up.
Remove the pastry from the oven, and spoon in the minced beef mixture. Roll out the remaining pastry to make the lid. Using a pastry brush, brush some of the beaten egg around the edges of the pie bottom. Transfer the pastry for the lid over the top of the dish, and press the edges onto the edges brushed with egg to make a join. Trim of any excess, and make a small slit in the centre to allow any steam to escape.
Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, and place in the oven for a further 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.
Serve, and enjoy!
|Minced Beef Pie and Chips|
I am entering this recipe into Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Camilla at Fab Food 4 All, and Helen at No Fuss Flavours, as it was made entirely from leftover ingredients found in my cupboard and freezer, and can be adapted to suit anything that needs using up.