Steak and mushroom pie: loved-up dish for a romantic dinner

Lilly Higgins: Store-bought pastry takes the effort out of this delicious dinner

Love it! Steak and mushroom pie with mash and greens

Love it! Steak and mushroom pie with mash and greens

 

While I know there is a whiff of “Hallmark holiday” to St Valentine’s Day I do think that any excuse to tell your loved ones that you love them should be celebrated.

Last February 14th when my youngest was only three, she lamented her lack of husband so I explained that it’s about everyone and anyone that you love. Now they are all looking forward to this year’s celebratory dinner and exchange of cards that they made in school. A tablecloth and candles are all it takes to make my kids sit up straight at the table. They love the ceremony and a reason to eat specific food whether it’s a big Chinese new year’s feast like we had recently or a pastel coloured Easter brunch.

We create menus and place names togetheer, taking a moment to consider if the melamine plates are required or will they go with porcelain.

Food is notorious for being the language of love. I always express my love for people through food. Good news, bad news or sad news; there is an appropriate recipe for every moment that life gives you. Like for St Valentine’s Day, I know just what to cook for my loved ones. It’s got to be steak and mushroom pie with a rich brandy-kissed gravy, golden puff pastry and a side of creamy mashed potato.

Now who wouldn’t feel adored when that is placed on the table in front of them?

There is very little preparation time required here but the filling does take a good 60-90 minutes to cook nicely. It is well worth it though in order to get tender beef pieces with a rich flavoured gravy. The filling can be prepared a day in advance and left to cool then kept in the fridge. For the pastry topping, store-bought is a handy short cut. You can also freeze the entire pie once assembled and cook it from frozen. Serve the pie with some bright green vegetables such as broccoli or spinach.

This delicious dinner will eclipse any fussy restaurant menu and ensure a relaxed St Valentine’s Day at home with those you love.

Irish Times
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Steak and Mushroom Pie

Serves 6

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
800g stewing steak, cut into bitesize pieces
2 onions, finely diced
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp brandy or red wine (optional)
80ml beef stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp Dijon mustard
300g mushrooms, sliced
Salt and black pepper
1 sheet all butter puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly whisked

To serve: Mashed potato, broccoli or spinach

Method
1
Place the olive oil in a wide heavy-based frying pan. Fry the beef in batches until golden.

2 Add the onion and a little more oil if needed. Cook until the onion has softened then add the flour.

3 Stir everything until coated and leave to cook for a minute before adding the brandy or red wine. You could also use a splash of stock here instead.

4 Tip everything into a heavy-based saucepan. Add the mustard, tomato puree and gradually add the stock, stirring to avoid lumps. Bring this to a simmer.

5 Meanwhile fry the mushrooms in a little oil in the frying pan until they become a little golden at the edges.

6 Add these to the beef. Season well with pepper. You may need a little salt too depending on how salty your stock was.

7 Simmer for 60-90 minutes until the beef is tender, then leave to cool slightly.

8 Preheat an oven to 200 degrees Celsius, or equivalent. Place the pie filling into a 1.5-litre ovenproof dish. Brush the edge of the dish with egg. Top with the sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry.

9 Crimp the edges and create a few cuts in the middle of the pie for steam to escape.

10 Brush with egg wash and bake for 30-40 minutes until puffed up and golden. Serve with mash and greens. 

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