Beef & Vegetable Shortcrust Pie
This hearty dish is new on our menu this season and so far it’s going down a treat in the crèches!
Beef is an excellent source of iron and this is a very important nutrient, especially for young children. Children need to eat meat at least three to four times a week to ensure that they get enough iron for their growing bodies. The iron in red meat can also be absorbed by the body up to seven times more than iron from other sources and also it increases the amount of iron that is absorbed from any vegetables that accompany it. This tasty pie includes both red meat and vegetables and makes a delicious, warming meal for all the family.
In the following recipe I have outlined two ways that you can make it – one where the beef is stewed for a few hours (if you have the time) and one that can be made with mince (if time is short).
I hope that you enjoy it!
For the filling:
• 500g diced stewing beef (or minced beef)
• 4 carrots
• 2 leeks
• 1 onion
• 1ltr vegetable stock
• 2 sprigs thyme
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 50g peas
For the shortcrust pastry:
• 225g plain flour
• 75g butter (Stork if you prefer dairy free)
• A drop of cold water to bring together
Large pot, sharp knife, chopping boards, oven dish, mixing bowl, rolling pin.
1) Dice the stewing beef and vegetables with a sharp knife. Heat a large pot and sauté off the beef and vegetables in a little olive oil.
2) Once the beef and vegetables are coloured, add the stock. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for two hours or until the beef is tender. Check that the stock doesn’t boil off intermittently; if it’s getting low add some more water. If using mince beef see step three.
3) If you are using mince beef you should only need to simmer for 10 minutes and then thicken with a little cornflour. Add a small amount of water to the corn flour and mix to a paste. Add this to the mince mix while it is simmering and stir until it thickens. Then add the milk and mix through.
4) While the beef is cooking you can make the shortcrust pastry. If you can, leave the butter or Stork out of the fridge since the night before. Put the flour in a bowl and dice the butter/Stork. Place this on top of the flour. Rub the butter into the flour with your hands and roll the mix between your thumb and fingers to combine it, until it looks like breadcrumbs.
5) Add a couple of tablespoons of water to bring the mix together. Leave to rest for about 20 minutes and it will be ready to roll.
6) The stock on the stewing beef should now have reduced down and be nice and thick – if it’s not you can thicken with some cornflour. Add the peas and it’s ready for the pie.
7) Put your beef mix into an oven dish. Roll out the pastry and cover the pie.
8) Bake in the oven for about 25 -30 minutes or until the pastry should turns golden brown. Then just serve and watch them lick their plates clean!!