These mini beef pies, courtesy of Miranda Gore Browne make a lovely treat at lunchtime, are great for a picnic in the garden, or to take as sustenance on a daily exertion.
For the filling:
- 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil
- 20g butter
- 1 onion finely chopped
- A pinch of mace
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 400g minced British steak
- 50ml beef stock or any gravy
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 1 carrot – about 60g (peeled and coarsely grated)
- 1 tsp of mustard powder
- 1 tbsp of tomato puree
- A dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper
For the pastry:
- 400g self-raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 225g cold butter (grated)
- 90ml of milk, add a little at a time as you may not need it all
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Put the flour and salt into a large bowl, or into the food processor. Add the coarsely grated butter and rub together with your fingertips or whizz in the food processor.
- Add the milk a little at a time (use a knife, not your fingers and cut it into the mixture) until you have a soft dough. Squash into a fat disc, wrap in non-stick baking paper and put into the fridge to rest for a couple of hours. You can make this a few days before, if that fits in better.
- Finely chop the onion and fry in a frying pan with the oil. Melt in the butter and then add the minced beef and cook until brown. Stir in the carrot and spices and cook through.
- Add half a beef stock cube to 50ml of boiling water and dissolve, or use any meat stock or gravy you have left over.
- Stir in the mustard powder, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the mince, add a sprig of thyme, season well with salt and pepper, and let it simmer on the hob until you have a thick meaty mixture.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Roll out to about 2mm thick and then use a large biscuit cutter (I used a 9cm cutter) to cut circles out of the pastry.
- Line a flat baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Cut out discs from the pastry and place them onto the baking paper, these will be your bases. Spoon on the meat mixture.
- Brush a little water around the edge of the mince, place another pastry circle on top and then use a fork to press down and seal the edges. Make one fork hole in the top, brush with beaten egg yolk or a little milk and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.