Mince and cheese pies

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1 Tbsp sun­flower or veg­etable oil

1 Tbsp but­ter

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

6 gar­lic cloves, peeled and crushed

500g lean minced beef

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp Worces­ter­shire sauce

½ Tbsp Mar­mite (op­tional)

1 Tbsp dark soy sauce

1 Tbsp Di­jon mus­tard

1 Tbsp plain flour

430ml good-qual­ity beef stock

Salt flakes and freshly ground black pep­per

2 sheets ready-rolled short­crust pas­try

2 sheets ready-rolled but­ter-puff pas­try

4 slices strongly flavoured cheese, like ched­dar or aged gouda

1 egg

New Zealand

1 Heat the oil and but­ter in a large heavy-based pot over a medium heat. Sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes, stir­ring fre­quently to pre­vent it burn­ing. Add the gar­lic and cook for 1 minute be­fore adding the minced beef. Stir the mix­ture with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps of meat, then cook for 10 minutes.

2 Add the tomato paste, Worces­ter­shire sauce, Mar­mite (if us­ing), soy sauce and mus­tard, and stir to com­bine. Sprin­kle the flour over the top and stir in, fol­lowed by the beef stock. Stir well, al­low the mix­ture to come to a sim­mer, then cook for 20-30 minutes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the liq­uid re­duces and thick­ens to a gravy.

3 Taste for flavour, then sea­son with salt and pep­per. Al­low to cool, or re­frig­er­ate overnight.

4 Pre­heat the oven to

180°C. Lightly grease four in­di­vid­ual pie tins with non-stick cook­ing spray. Line the tins with the short­crust pas­try on the base, then cut four ad­di­tional rounds from the puff pas­try for the lids. Fill the pie tins al­most to the top with the cold mince fill­ing, then place a slice of cheese on each.

5 Top the pies with the puff pas­try rounds, then crimp the edges to seal. Whisk the egg with 1 Tbsp of wa­ter and brush evenly over the top of the pies, then make a cou­ple of small in­ci­sions on the top of each. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or un­til the pies are golden and the pas­try is cooked through.

6 Re­move the pies from the oven and al­low to rest for 5-10 minutes be­fore serv­ing, as the fill­ing will be pip­ing hot. MAKES 4 IN­DI­VID­UAL PIES

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