So if you’ve been around these parts before, you’ll know that I’ve been working with Belvoir to create some deliciously warming autumnal recipes. It’s been such fun testing, tasting and cooking, and I really think that this beef pie using Belvoir’s Blueberry & Blackcurrant Cordial is my favourite. Of course, now is the perfect time for pies, and we took inspiration from Scandinavian cuisine, which has long embraced the concept of pairing the sweet, flavour-packed berry with savoury meat dishes. The cordial gives a delicious depth of flavour and a background sweetness to this perfect, autumn pie. Serve with piles of creamy mash, and my current obsession: carrots roasted with a little chilli, maple and lime.
Beef pie with blueberry and blackcurrant cordial
2 tbsp rapeseed or other oil
1 red onion, chopped
500g British beef braising steak
2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
100ml Belvoir Blueberry and Blackcurrant Cordial
500ml beef stock
2 bay leaves
For the pastry:
200g cold butter
400g plain flour
Ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten (reserve half for egg wash)
1 Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and gently fry the onion until it starts to colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep to one side.
2 Toss the beef in the seasoned flour, then brown a few pieces at a time, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. You might need a little more oil.
3 When all the meat is browned, deglaze the pan with the Belvoir Blueberry and Blackcurrant Cordial, scraping at any caramelised bits stuck to the bottom. Then add back the onion and beef and stir in the stock. Add in the bay leaves.
4 Pop a lid on and put the beef in the oven at 190C/gas 5 for about an hour and a half, then remove from the oven and leave to cool. Remove the bay leaves.
5 To make the pastry, cut the cold butter into cubes, and add to the flour. Add in the salt and pepper, and then either place in a food mixer or rub in the butter gently with just your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
6 Add in half the beaten egg and bring together into a firm dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
7 Flour the work surface and rolling pin really well. Divide the pastry into two pieces: one about 2/3 for the base and the other 1/3 for the top. Roll out the larger piece and use it to line a metal pie dish (around 23cm is perfect), then return to the fridge until the filling is cool.
8 Spoon the cooled filling into the pie, then roll out the pastry lid. Place over the filling and crimp the edges with your fingers, or a fork so that they’re sealed together. Brush with the remaining beaten egg and bake for about half an hour at 180C/gas 4. Remember to pop in the carrots at this stage too, if you’re making them.
Having discovered how delicious the addition of the cordial was, I’ve taken to using it every time I’m slow cooking beef. It’s scrummy served just with rice or mash, like I’ve done here, or absolutely perfect topped with fluffy dumplings. Yum!
For even more gorgeous autumnal dishes, why not visit the recipe section over on belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk.
Student staples: remember you can buy stewing steak in the freezer aisle and it’s generally cheaper than buying it fresh. Bulk out the pie filling with extra veg, beans or pulses to make it go further.