Serves 2 - 4
1.5kg stewing beef (I used chuck steak cut into chunks, bone removed)
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
250g mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp each dried thyme, dried rosemary and dried oregano (I like the earthiness of the dried herbs)
2 bay leaves
500ml (2 cups) strong beef stock (alternatively add a heaped tbsp bovril to 500ml water)
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 50ml milk
salt & pepper to taste
1 roll ready-made puff pastry, rolled out slightly
1 egg, beaten
- For the filling, brown the beef in a large pot. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pot, fry the onion, carrots and celery sticks until soft and fragrant (about 10 minutes).
- Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for 5 minutes before adding the paprika and herbs.
- Pour in the stock and add the browned beef back into the pot. Stir to combine everything and reduce the heat. Cover the pot and allow the stew to simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
- When the meat is really tender (when you press a piece with a spoon it should break apart), turn the heat up and pour in the cornflour mixture. Allow the sauce to simmer rapidly and thicken for about 10 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
- Divide the beef and mushroom filling between 4-6 oven-proof dishes (depending on size).
- Cut the pastry into squares big enough to cover the dishes, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Brush the rim of the dishes with some of the beaten egg then place the pastry on top and pinch the pastry onto the rim.
- Cut 2 slits into each pie to allow the steam to escape and brush with the rest of the beaten egg.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown.
- Remove and serve with vegetables of your choice.