There’s so much to love about this Chunky Beef and Onion Pie! Melt in your mouth chunks of beef, thinly sliced caramelised onions swathed in THE most amazing gravy and topped with golden puff pastry.
Finally, some rain for our poor Aussie farmers. It may be too early to tell if it’s made an impact, or even if the rain will continue, but l hope it will bring some relief to the people on the land who are doing it very, very tough.
It has been fabulous to see the rest of the community acknowledge the severe hardship farmers are experiencing.
A campaign started by school children called a Fiver for a Farmer has raised much needed funds to help farmers out. I am very proud to say that the school where l work raised just over $3,500. Yay!!
Aussies love their pies and what better way to acknowledge our farmers than by posting a recipe for a beef and onion pie!
Fingers crossed for more rain for those who really need it, no matter where in the world you are.
Preparation Time: 40 mins Cooking Time: 2 – 2 1/2 hours Serves: 4 – 5
- 1.5 kg / 3.5 lbs chuck steak/beef, cut into 2.5 cm / 1 ” cubes (note 1)
- 3 large brown onions, thinly sliced
- 2 – 3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
- 4 – 5 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
- 1 litre / 34 fl oz beef stock (note 2)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 -2 sheets puff pastry (depending on the size of your pie dish)
- salt, ground white pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F
- The Onions (note 3): Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy based/cast iron pot. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves and thyme and cook over low heat for 30 minutes with lid on, until the onions are very soft, stirring every now and then. If it looks too dry, add a little more oil. Add the balsamic vinegar and increase the heat to medium and cook until onions are darker in colour (1- 2 mins). Stir through the flour and cook for further 2 minutes.
- The Meat: Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. If your stock is very salty, go easy with how much salt your sprinkle. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan over high heat. Cook the beef in batches until well browned on all sides. As each batch cooks, remove and set aside in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the beef stock to the pan to lift all the flavours and brown bits. Pour into pot with the onions.
- Tip the beef (including the juices in the bowl) into the pot with the onions. Add the carrots.
- Pour the remainder of the stock over the beef and vegetables and bring to the boil. Stir.
- Cover with lid and place pot in the oven for 2 hours or until the beef is very tender. Remove bay leaves. Taste test. If you have time, allow the filling to cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge until cold (note 4).
- Pour the beef stew into a pie dish (note 5).
- Cover with the puff pastry sheet. If you want to get fancy, decorate your pie by cutting out desired shapes with any remaining pastry and place them on top of the pie. Trim edges if required or just tuck them in. Brush with egg yolk. Pierce in 4 places with a sharp knife (this is to allow steam to escape).
- Place in middle rack of the oven and bake until the pastry turns a deep golden colour, about 30 mins.
- Allow to stand for about 5 minutes before serving. And of course, tomato sauce / ketchup is a must!!
- Chuck steak is a perfect choice for this pie. Even though it’s considered a cheaper cut of beef, it is very flavoursome. Lean cuts of meat will dry out during the cooking process. Stick to chuck!
- l used 1 Massel beef stock cube in this recipe. Just add the stock cube to 1 litre / 34 fl oz of hot water and stir. For more intensity, add 2 stock cubes. If you do so, you may not need to add any salt.
- To create a intense caramelised flavour in the onions, you need to cook them low and slow. You won’t regret it. While the onions are cooking away, you can start preparing the beef.
- If the filling is hot, the fat in the pastry will begin to melt and the pastry won’t be as flaky.
- My pie dish measures 25 cm / 10 ” in diameter.