Beef & Mushroom Pie © llizard aka ejm 2000, 2002

This is ideal for entertaining as most of it can be made one day ahead

Ingredients recipe for one 9 inch pie plate Preparation
  1. Pastry: N.B. It's important to handle this pastry as little as possible. Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour and salt until it is pea sized. Add ICE-COLD water a little at a time and mix lightly with your hands until it is pastry consistency. Please note that the amount of water changes drastically, depending on the humidity. (For whatever pastry recipe you use, if it is very humid, reduce the amount of water called for.)

  2. Divide the pastry into two equal parts. Handling it as little as possible, roll out the bottom crust on a lightly floured board. Put in pie plate. Trim. Roll out top crust and loosely roll around the rolling pin. Lay the rolling pin on top of the pie plate. REFRIGERATE AT LEAST ONE HOUR. It's the refrigeration before baking that does the trick. It makes the pastry flakier.

  3. Filling: Cut the beef into cubes and dredge pieces with flour.

  4. Heat 4 Tbsp oil in a large cast iron frying pan. Brown the meat well. Set meat aside.

  5. Add onion and garlic to pan and saute until slightly caramelized. Deglaze pan with sherry. Return the meat to the pan. Add tomato paste, thyme and just enough water to cover and simmer gently for about an hour. Remove from pan and set aside.

  6. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in the frying pan. Add mushrooms and saute til they are reduced. Add to the meat mixture. Deglaze the pan with a little more sherry or brandy. Add that to meat mixture as well.

  7. Chop potatoes in quarters and boil in salted water until just tender. Drain and carefully stir the potatoes into the meat mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. Put sludge into the pie shell. Put the top pastry piece on. Crimp edges, and slash the top. At this point, it can be refrigerated until the next day for baking.

  9. Bake the pie in a preheated 425F oven for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350F and bake 45-55 minutes more until the pie is golden.

Serve with green beans and salad.