Beef & Mushroom Puff Pastry Pie

This is warm, comforting food for the winter months and its wonderful. I blitz down the carrots and onions as it adds thickness and sweetness to the sauce (and can sometimes go unnoticed) but you can cut them into small dice instead. I generally make half of the recipe up into individual pie dishes and ramekins and the other half gets frozen - either as a completed pie or just a stew ready to be topped another day (because let's be honest- whenever there is a opportunity for a puff pastry lid its only polite to take it!)

Makes enough for two pies that serve 2 adults and 1-2 small children each


2 tbsp olive oil

600g braising steak, cut into 2-cm dice

200g carrot, roughly chopped

200g red onion, roughly chopped

200g chestnut mushrooms, quartered

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp dijon mustard

2 tsp cornflour

750ml vegetable stock

1 sheet puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

fresh thyme, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 150oc. Place the carrot and onion in a food processor and blitz down until fine. Remove and set aside.


Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and add half the meat. Cook over a high heat until it is nicely browned. Remove and repeat with the second half- add a little more oil if the dish is dry and smoking. Return the first batch to the dish along with all the rest of the ingredients and stir everything so it is evenly mixed and then place in the oven for 1 hour, covered. After one hour, the meat should be falling apart- if not, then place back in the oven for 30-45minutes- remove from the oven and place a large colander over a deep frying pan. Drain the stew so that the meat and vegetables are caught in the colander whilst the sauce is in the pan. Put the meat/veg to one side and bring the sauce to the boil. Reduce down until you have a thick glossy sauce- it will take about 15 minutes and you need to reduce the sauce to 400ml. Remove and pour back over the meat/veg. Serve immediately if opting for a stew or cover with puff pastry, brush with egg and place in the oven [increase to 200oC] for 25 minutes until puffed and golden. 

for adults or older children: add 1 tsp salt along with all the other ingredients