19 September 2017Last updated

Food | Recipes

Hot pies

This weekend give your oven a workout with these delectable casseroles packed with colour, crunch and a scrummy crust

Camera Press
9 Sep 2016 | 12:00 am
  • Beef pie with cheese crust

    Source:Camera Press

Beef pie with cheese crust

Prep time 3 hours
Cooking time 40 mins
Serves 6

2.5kg beef, on the bone
1 cup non-alcoholic red wine
500ml lamb stock
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, bruised
3 sprigs thyme
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
For the cheese crust:
1½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter, frozen
½ cup grated mature Cheddar
4 tbsp ice-cold water
For the sauce:
1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
2 tbsp butter
1 cup non-alcoholic red wine
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp chilli jam

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Put the beef in an ovenproof pot, pour over the non-alcoholic wine and stock and add bay leaves, garlic and thyme. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and put the pot in the oven for about 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone. Reserve the juices from the pan for later use. Shred the meat and discard the bones. Add parsley and nutmeg to the meat and season with salt and pepper.

For the crust, mix flour and salt. Grate butter over the flour. Add cheese and sprinkle over 2 tbsp ice-cold water to form a crumbly dough. Add more water – 1 tbsp at a time – as needed. The dough is ready when the crumbs stick together when pressed with your fingers.

Roll the dough into a ball, cover with cling film and refrigerate for an hour.

For the sauce, sauté onions in butter in a saucepan until onion is translucent. Add the non-alcoholic wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the reserved pan juices and bring it to the boil. Dissolve cornflour in 2 tbsp water and stir in the boiling sauce, until it thickens. Add jam and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the meat into a pie dish and add half a cup of the sauce. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of cling film – the size of the pie dish. Place it over the filling, brush egg over and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with the reserved sauce.

Chicken pies with sweet peppers


Prep time 30 mins
Cooking time 50 mins
Serves 6

4 chicken breasts, skin on
4 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tbsp olive oil
110g broccoli, steamed until al dente and chopped
4 sweet piquante peppers
100g feta, crumbled
4 tbsp thick cream
400g shortcrust pastry, thawed
200g puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Put the chicken on a baking tray and add thyme, garlic and olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until cooked. Let the meat cool down slightly and then flake with a fork.

Add broccoli, peppers and feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the cream into the filling and set aside.

Grease a large muffin pan with cooking spray. Neatly 
line the bottom and sides of each cup with the shortcrust pastry. Fill the cups with the chicken mixture.

Cut 6 circles from the puff pastry to fit over the pie cups like lids. Brush the pastry with egg and bake the pies for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Curry mince pies


Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 40 mins
Serves 8

1 onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp olive oil
300g beef mince
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 carrots, chopped
2 baby marrows, chopped
100g broccoli, chopped
100g cauliflower, chopped
Kernels from 1 corn on the cob
125ml vegetable stock
800g puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Fry onion and curry powder in olive oil until fragrant. Add mince and all the spices and sauté until the mince is brown. Now add garlic and all the vegetables, including corn kernels. Stir and add vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are cooked yet firm.

Remove the lid and sauté until the mixture is fairly dry. Season with salt and pepper and add more curry powder, if required. Discard the cinnamon stick, star anise and cardamom pods and let the mixture cool down.

Cut the pastry into 8 rectangles. Spoon a portion of the mince mixture on the shorter side of the pastry, leaving half a centimetre of clear edge. 
Close the pastry by bringing the other half over the filling and then crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat the process to make the remaining pies and refrigerate them.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Put the pies on the tray, brush with egg and bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

Sweet potato and chicken pie


Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 45 mins
Serves 6

800g chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1.2kg orange sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks and boiled
6 tbsp butter
1 tsp paprika
250g beef bacon, cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
5 spring onions, chopped
Parsley, a bunch, chopped

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Add chicken pieces to a saucepan and cover with water. Poach for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and reserve the stock. Let the chicken cool down, then discard the skin and bones. Shred the meat.

Mash the boiled sweet potatoes, add 4 tbsp butter and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Set aside.

In a pan, fry beef bacon in olive oil until crisp. Remove and set aside. To the same pan, add the remaining butter and the flour. Stir well for a minute and then slowly add 2 cups of the reserved chicken liquid. Stir constantly until the mixture achieves a sauce-like consistency. Add mustard, spring onions, parsley and beef bacon to the sauce. Mix well and then add the chicken pieces. Check seasoning.

Spoon the chicken mixture into a greased ovenproof dish and spread the sweet potato mash on top in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly golden and crusty.

Garnish with spring onions and serve hot.

Moroccan fish and prawn pie


Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 30 mins
Serves 6

500g frozen white fish fillets, cleaned and thawed
500ml fish stock
Saffron threads, a pinch
150g cooked frozen prawns, thawed
2 onions, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
200g spinach, chopped
6 green olives, pitted
Pine nuts or toasted almond flakes, a handful
4 tbsp butter, plus extra
4 tbsp flour
1 lemon, zest and juice of
4 sheets filo pastry

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

In a saucepan, lightly poach the fish in the stock for 5 minutes. Remove the fillets from the stock and set aside until cool. Add saffron to the stock and set aside.

Cut the fish into chunks and place in an ovenproof pie dish along with the prawns. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a frying pan, sauté onions, fennel, garlic and cumin in oil until soft. Add spinach, stir-fry until wilted. Add olives and nuts. Season with salt. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat butter. Add flour. Stir for a minute or until slightly fragrant. Whisk in 250ml of the saffron-infused stock. Bring the sauce to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Dilute with more stock if required.

Add the spinach mix to the prawn mix, spread it in an even layer, then pour the prepared sauce over. Shake slightly to ensure it spreads evenly. Add lemon zest and juice. Brush butter over the pastry sheets and crumple them lightly. Place them carefully over the filling. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Serve hot.

Beef mushroom and carrot pies


Prep time 30 mins
Cooking time 40 mins
Serves 4

4 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp salt
Fresh black pepper, a pinch
1kg stewing meat, on the bone, cut into chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
250g brown mushrooms, chopped
3 sprigs rosemary
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 can non-alcoholic beer
400g puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Put flour, salt and pepper in a large sealable bag. Shake to mix. Add the meat pieces and shake until the meat is well coated with the flour mixture.

Heat oil in a large saucepan. 
Fry meat in batches until brown. Remove it over a paper towel and set aside.

To the same pan add onion, garlic and carrots. Sauté until carrots are soft. 
Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.

Now add the rosemary, tomato paste, stock, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and non-alcoholic beer. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Lower the heat and return the meat to the pot. Simmer for about an hour or until the meat falls off the bone. Remove the bones, cut the pieces into cubes, and return to the pan.

Transfer the filling to a greased pie dish or divide it between 4 mini pie pots or ramekins. Cover with a disc of puff pastry and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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