Beef, wine and aubergine pie (Dan Lepard)

Makes 6 medium-sized pies
For the filling
1 bottle red wine
4 medium red onions, peeled and sliced
2-3 bay leaves
25g butter
800g beef shin, cubed
2 medium aubergines
1 tbsp plain flour
2-3 garlic cloves
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper

For the bottom crust
500g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
250g unsalted butter, softened
100g full-fat cream cheese
1 medium egg, beaten
Flour, for rolling
Butter for the dishes
1 egg yolk, for brushing
½ batch puff pastry (about 500g)

1 For the filling, put the wine in a deep ovenproof pot and bring to the boil until reduced by three-quarters. Add the onions, butter, bay and beef, stir well then bake with the lid on at 170C/150C fan/335F/gas mark 3 for 2 hours till the meat is almost tender.

2 Meanwhile bake the aubergines on a tray in the oven for about 30 minutes until tender. Take out, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then peel, chop the flesh, sprinkle on 1 tsp salt and place in a sieve over a bowl to drain off the liquid.

3 Make the dough by rubbing the butter into the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, then work in the cheese and egg until smooth. Wrap and leave to chill for 30 minutes, then roll to about ½cm thick and use it to line buttered pie dishes (if you’re making six pies, use dishes about 15cm in diameter and 5-6cm deep).

4 To finish the meat, mix the flour with 50ml cold water until smooth. Remove the pot from the oven, stir the flour mix through then put the lid back on the pot and bake for another 30 minutes.

5 Put the drained aubergine in a large bowl, peel and slice the garlic then fry in olive oil until golden. Tip this over the aubergine, spoon the cooked beef (discarding the bay leaves) over, then season with salt and pepper. Pie crusts tend to suck the seasoning out of the filling, so add more than you normally would. Leave until cool before using.

6 Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/425F/gas mark 7. Spoon the filling into the pastry-lined pie dishes, and add 2-3 tbsp water to each to stop the filling drying out. Roll the puff pastry to ½ cm thick, cut tops from it large enough to hang 1cm over the edge of the pies. Brush with yolk thinned with a little water and pinch of salt, and notch the edges. Lay the puff lids over the pies and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/160C fan/350F/gas mark 4 and bake for 30-40 minutes until the filling is piping hot.


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