Monday, 5 May 2014

Steak & Mushroom Pie

When I made Steak & Kidney Pie a couple weeks back, I thought I had better have a back-up, just in case somebody didn't eat kidneys. Somebody like Mr. Ferdzy, in fact. Sigh. So, I made a classic steak and mushroom pie to go with it. 

When I went to buy the mushrooms, my eyes were caught by some lovely oyster mushrooms. I have never really used them all that much for some reason, but I bought them, and liked them, and now I am on a tear! There's going to be more oyster mushroom recipes, is what I'm saying.

Even though oyster mushrooms really don't taste like oysters (I guess someone thought they looked a bit like them), oysters were a pretty traditional addition to steak pies back in the days when oysters were cheap and plentiful. Consequently, when it came time to add some seasonings to the pie, I thought oyster sauce would do very well, which it did!

6 servings
1 hour 45 minutes - 45 minutes prep time

Steak & Mushroom Pie

Make the Filling:
700 grams (1 1/2 pounds) round steak
450 grams (1 pound) oyster mushrooms
2 large shallots
3 to 4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons savory
 freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 to 1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup tomato paste or thick tomato sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce

Cut the steak into bite-sized pieces, trimming off any bits of fat or gristle, and discarding any bone. Clean the mushrooms, and trim off the stems where they become tough and woody. If any are too large to be eaten in one piece, cut them up accordingly. Peel and chop the shallots, and peel and mince the garlic.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown the steak pieces on both sides, then add the mushrooms and continue cooking and mixing, until the mushrooms are softened and slightly browned as well. Add the shallots, and cook to soften them, then add the garlic.

Once the garlic has been in for a minute or two, add the flour, savory, and pepper. When they are sufficiently mixed in that no white can be seen from the flour, add 1 cup of the beef broth, the tomato paste, the vinegar, and the oyster sauce.

Simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Add a little more broth if the mixture becomes too thick. Taste and add a little more salt or pepper, if you think it requires it.

Place the stewed beef mixture in a 10" pie plate, and spread it out evenly.

The stew can be made a day ahead, and the crust added and baked the next day if you like. In that case, keep it covered and refrigerated, and let it sit out for half an hour to warm a little before the crust goes on and it is baked.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Make the Crust: 
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

The butter should be very soft. Mix it with the oil and buttermilk. The butter can be in fairly large lumps.

Mix the baking powder and salt into the flour.

Mix the flour into the wet ingredients. Stir until everything is amalgamated. There should no longer be large lumps of butter, but small lumps or streaks are not only fine, but good.

Put the dough out on a piece of parchment or waxed paper a little larger than the pie plate, and roll out the dough until it will cover the pie plate.

When you are ready to cover the pie, lift the paper to the edge of the pie, and turn it over so the dough sits on top of it. Peel off the paper and discard it. Poke holes in the dough with a fork to allow steam to escape.

Bake the pie at 350°F for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how warm (or not) it was when it went into the oven. The crust should be nicely browned and the filling hot and bubbling.

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