When my husband and I came back from Zimbabwe the weather here in Braunschweig was getting chilly. The first meal Nigel requested was a meat pie. At first, I was taken aback because I never made one before so I got to work, researching the best recipe to try. I was taken aback because there are so many variations out there, some use minced meat, some use steak, some use ale and some use wine. Overwhelming!
This is why I am here to share this recipe to make life easy for you and spare you all the research time I went through. My husband preferred the meat pie just the way it’s made by some shops in Zimbabwe and that’s with beef steak. I believe you could achieve the same results with minced meat too. Now don’t you fret, I’ve made this meal several times now – it’s pretty bulletproof now.
Unfortunately, the pastry is not included in the recipe below. The pastry isn’t my stronghold, you could also try buying premade pastry to make life easier for you.
Preparation and cooking time
Number of servings
For the filling
1kg braising steak, cut into cubes
3300ml red wine
4 slices of bacon, minced
2 red onions, roughly chopped
250g/2 medium-sized carrots, roughly chopped
250g green beans roughly chopped (Nigel hates celery, but you could use celery in place of green beans)
handful fresh thyme sprigs
300ml good-quality beef stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
500g chestnut or white mushrooms, halved or cut into quarters if large
salt and freshly ground black pepper tbsp
Steak and chops seasoning
For the Beurre manié
knob of butter
2 tbsp plain flour
- Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large heatproof pan up to a medium heat, then add beef. keep the chunks well spaced so they fry rather than sweat. Brown for about 10 minutes, until golden-brown all over.
- If any excess liquids appear, drain them immediately but keep them for later.
- Add the bacon, onions, carrots,green beans, spices and herbs to the pan and fry for a few minutes, until softened.
- Pour in the stock and red wine, then add the tomato purée and. If necessary, add a little more stock or hot water to ensure the meat is covered in liquid (this will prevent the beef from drying out). Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer the stew for 1–1½ hours until the beef is almost tender and the sauce has thickened. In the last 15 minutes, stir in the mushroom.
- Now to make the Beurre manié to thicken our filling, mix the softened butter and the flour. The idea here is we want to avoid oversteering our dish which can break up the already tender meat. The beurre manie will melt away without creating any lumps when added to the filling. Stir it into the filling.
- Set aside to cool until it’s cold.
- To make the pie, preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry to fit the top of the dish – if it’s too big it doesn’t matter. Lift on top of the pie, laying the pastry over a rolling pin to lift it. Press down gently to seal.
- Cut a couple of slits in the top of the pie to release steam. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg – taking care to avoid getting egg on the edges of the pastry as it will stick the layers together. Chill for 10 minutes, or until the pastry is firm. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden-brown and puffed all over.
Notes and FAQ
You could alternatively use Guinness Beer Ale. It gives the pie a more woody flavour which some may prefer. I added bacon to achieve the same mild effect.