Or Steak and Stilton Pie, as it should really be called. John made this last Sunday. He does as much cooking as I do but while I am happiest baking, he would much rather cook a big Sunday dinner. A roast, a stew or pie, or a big pot of chilli or ragu sauce. This is how he relaxes. Half the pleasure for him, and for me, is in the thinking of a meal; consulting recipe books, checking the cupboards, writing lists, planning a trip to the butchers. I do love autumn and winter Sundays when our day revolves around the planning, cooking and anticipation of a family meal.
You can't taste the Stilton cheese that strongly when it is cooked (if you could, I doubt Bella and Angus would have eaten it) but it just adds a wonderful richness and intensity to the flavour of the beef.
You will need:
500 g/1 lb beef stewing or braising steak
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 sticks of celery
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 glass red wine
2 bay leaves
500 ml/1 pint beef stock
200 g/7 oz Stilton cheese
1 pack ready made puff pastry*
- Peel and chop the vegetables. Put them in a large oven proof dish and soften them in the oil and butter for ten minutes, the add the garlic, cooking for a little while longer.
- Turn up the heat and add the meat, browning it with the flour and mustard powder (1).
- Pour in the wine and stir.
- Add the bay leaves and stock, stir, and season.
- Put a lid on the dish and pop it in the oven for around 2 hours at 160°C/320°F.
- When the filling is cooked (2), transfer to a pie dish and leave to cool for half an hour or so.
- Crumble the Stilton on top of the pie mixture (3).
- Roll out your puff pastry and cover the top of the pie, sealing the edges with beaten egg. Cut a couple of holes in the top to let out the steam and brush the beaten egg over the pastry (4).
- Bake for around 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pie filling is piping hot and the pastry is cooked.
It serves four nicely. We ate ours with mustard mash and veggies. I am sorry these photos are a bit rubbish. It's really hard to take a nice picture of food in a gloomy kitchen and with fading afternoon light. Also, when it was cooked, we just really wanted to eat it!
*I know, I know, we used ready made puff pastry. The shame. If you want to make your own, knock yourself out, but I'd rather aim my culinary efforts and energy at making a pudding.