Thursday, 1 September 2011

Recipes - Works Pie

This is one of my signatures and something I have been cooking for over ten years.  I would say this is the meal most requested by my friends and family but I try not to make it too often as it is a bit of a heart attack waiting to happen.  Tastes pretty amazing though! 

1kg beef, diced
2-3 tbs plain flour
1 cup beef stock
2-3tsp cracked black pepper
pinch salt
1/2 cup red wine, optional
2 large potatoes
6 rashers middle bacon, rind removed
4 large brown onion, sliced
3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced thickly
1 cup tasty cheese, 
1 cup extra cheese, tasty, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan (or a combination)
puff pastry

Step 1 - Heat oil in a large frying pan.  When hot, add beef and brown.  When brown, add flour and cook off, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.
Step 2 - Add stock, red wine, salt and pepper, reduce heat, stir to combine and simmer slowly until gravy is thick and beef is tender, about 30 mins.
Step 3 - Heat a good whack of oil in another frying pan, reduce heat to medium-low and throw onion in. Saute until tender and lightly browned.  Drain on paper towel and set aside. 
Step 4 - In same pan as onions, fry tomatoes on medium heat for 1 minute each side. Set aside.
Step 5 - Heat grill and cook bacon for 1 minute on each side.  Drain on paper towel and set aside.
Step 6 - Peel potatoes, prick with a fork and microwave on medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Slice thinly and set aside to cool. 
*Note* All filling must be cooled before going into pastry.  Warm filling will begin to melt the butter in the pastry which will not allow it to puff or crisp.  
Step 7 - Heat oven to 220°C.  Remove pastry from freezer and set aside to thaw.  Grease pie dish.
Step 8 - Line dish with pastry and prick base and sides with a fork several times.
Step 9 - Layer potatoes, season lightly with salt and pepper then sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over.
Step 10 - Transfer beef and gravy mix to pie dish, then sprinkle with 1/3 cheese, layer onions, bacon, tomatoes and remaining cheese.  
Step 11 - Top pie with pastry, pressing edges into the pastry covering the sides to seal the filling.  Prick a few times with a fork and bake for 20 mins.  Then, reduce heat to 180°C and cook for a further 40 mins or until pastry is golden.  


The fillings can be altered to suit your taste.  If you don't love onions, only use one or two, or leave them out completely.  Tomato and bacon can also be omitted.  If you like mushrooms, fry a few up and add them as one of the layers.  Egg can also be added be cracking a few eggs onto of the beef mixture then topping with other fillings.    

The dish I used was 20cm x 20cm and 10cm deep.  I needed 4 sheets of pastry for a dish this size and the amount of fillings filled the dish to the top.  

I would recommend heating a flat tray, larger than your pie dish, in the oven while it is preheating.  The pie dish can then be placed on this tray which will help the bottom layer of pastry become crisp and cooked.  

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