{Recipe} The humble beef pie

I was shopping at Woolworths the other day and my friend asked me what I was making for dinner. I spied some lean Heart Smart beef cubes and decided to make beef pie. I love pies. Steak and kidney pie, chicken pot pie, Hahndorf pot bellies, apple pie. Pies are good. Pies are bad for health.

My old and wisened landlord once told me that he used to make and sell pies with his mam. Boy the amount of lard kneaded into the harmless-looking pie could keel you over by clogging your once squeaky arteries. Modern day pies are not much better though. Stabilisers and fillers and dodgy camel meat. Ugh. I am making my own – with some shortcuts of course.

Beefy Shroom and Pea Pie

Makes 6

3 sheets reduced fat store-bought puff pastry, allowed to defrost

400g lean beef, diced into approximately 1 inch cubes

1Tb flour

1/2tsp white pepper

1tsp oil

1 medium onion, diced

1/2c brown mushrooms, sliced

1c frozen peas

1c chicken stock

1 packet salt-reduced gravy mix

1tsp black peppercorn

1tsp dried herbs

1 egg, for eggwash

Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celsius. Line pastry on bottom of 6 4inch tart pans, prick the pastry liberally and blind bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil on medium. Coat beef with flour and pepper then brown on all sides. Add onions and fry until translucent. Add mushrooms, peas and chicken stock. Allow stock to boil. Add gravy mix, black peppercorn and herbs. Stir thoroughly. Cover pan and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring to prevent from sticking to the pan. Once meat is tender, fill tart shells. Top with another layer of pastry, poking a hole in the middle to allow steam to escape. Brush with eggwash. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown. Serve with a side of salad (without dressing please!).