Beat the winter blues with a lighter pie!

3rd December 2013

As the nights get colder and winter sets in, nothing can beat a delicious home cooked pie. Here are two great pie recipes – the first is a great family meal and the other is something a little special for a dinner party or romantic meal!

Feast your eyes on this easy-to-make Chicken Leak Bacon and Tarragon pie. Brilliant for a family meal and with 40% less calories compared to its full-fat friend, you won’t even have to count your calories!

The Beef, Guinness & Porcini puff pie is a great choice for a dinner party. Using light ready-rolled puff pastry makes this a lighter main course option – leaving you plenty of room for pud! Enjoy!

Beef, Guinness & porcini puff pie

Serves 6

Spray oil
1kg lean beef (stewing steak pieces)
4 tbsp plain flour
2 medium onions, quartered, with root left intact
500ml beef stock
330ml Guinness
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
25g dried porcini mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

320g sheet of light ready-rolled puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

To serve
Garden peas

Preheat the oven to 170°C, (Fan 150°C), 325°F, Gas Mark 3. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside.

Spritz a large non-stick casserole pot with spray oil and set over a high heat. Toss the beef in a large bowl with the flour and season. Then, working in three batches, brown the meat well in the pan to get some good colour on it. This will add lots of extra flavour to the finished stew. Scoop the meat out into a bowl as you go and spray a little more oil between batches if necessary.

Once all the beef has been browned and removed, fry the onion wedges over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just turning golden. Return the meat to the casserole pot, add the stock, Guinness, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and season. Bring to the boil, then pop the lid on and place in the oven for 3 hours.

Meanwhile, unroll the puff pastry sheet onto the prepared baking sheet. Cut it in half down the length and then across the width in thirds to give six evenly sized squares (approximately 12cm square). Separate out the squares a little, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to firm up until you are ready to cook.

Stir the carrots and porcini mushrooms into the casserole for the last half-hour. At this point don’t put the lid back on, and also turn the heat up to 180°C, (Fan 160°C), 350°F, Gas Mark 4.

As soon as you have put the casserole back into the oven, mix the egg yolk and milk together in a small bowl and brush this over the puff pastry pieces. Then, bake the pastry in the oven with the casserole for the final 30 minutes of cooking.

Once cooked, the pastry should be puffed and golden. To check that the meat is tender, you should be able to literally cut it with a spoon. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary. To serve, remove the bay leaves from the casserole then divide it between six plates or wide bowls. Put a puff pastry square on top and serve with some peas.

James Grant

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  • I Love the Food Lorraine Cook's. I will buy Her Book . Thank you

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