A meat and potato pie is something of a northern recipe, popular in both Northern England and Scotland. It is both hearty and filling, tasting great when seasoned well: which is why when baked in individual pie foils they are the perfect pie to be eaten at football matches (and are sold at many football grounds up and down the country). A much underrated pie, and they are never as good when bought as a home-made one, this pie deserves to be celebrated on the dinning room table and served alongside some seasonal steamed vegetables.
Meat & Potato Pie Recipe
Serves 6 from a 20cm square cake tin at least 4cm deep with a removable base. You can of course break the pie pastry up into smaller bits and make individual pies using disposable pie foils to take with you. The gravy is easy to make and its base comes from the traditional British sauces of ketchup, Worcestershire and brown sauces.
- 600g minced beef (lean)
- 360g potatoes (peeled and cut small into dice)
- 1 large onion (finely diced)
- 2 medium carrots (peeled and diced small)
- 2 celery sticks (finely sliced and diced)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 150ml beef stock
- a good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
see this masterclass on making shortcrust pastry
- 300g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 70g butter (diced)
- 70g lard (diced)
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 3 tbsp of cold water
- egg yolk (beaten) to glaze
To make the shortcrust pastry: see this masterclass on making shortcrust pastry. In a mixing bowl sift in the flour and add the salt. Take the diced butter and lard and rub this into the flour with your finger-tips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the cold water, a little at a time, to bring the flour and butter into a pastry dough which is silky and smooth. Shape it into a slightly flattened ball, cover it in cling film and place the pastry dough in the fridge to chill for twenty minutes.
To make the pie filling: In a tall saucepan, over a high heat, add a little vegetable oil and fry the minced beef, until the beef is no longer pink. Stir frequently to break up the meat. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery and fry. Reduce the heat and add in the tomato ketchup, brown sauce, Worcestershire sauce, plain flour and the salt and pepper seasoning. Cook out for 1 minute.
To the saucepan add the potatoes and beef stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan loosely and simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the gravy is thickened slightly. Take off the heat and leave the mixture to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease the square cake tin with butter.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and break it into two parts, one larger and one smaller (a smaller 1/4 for the pie crust lid). Roll out the larger block of pastry on a lightly floured surface, turning it frequently to make it roughly square. Take this pastry and line your greased cake tin, making sure there is enough pastry to overhang the sides of the tin slightly.
Spoon in the cooled pie filling, and spread it out evenly, then brush the edges of the pastry with some beaten egg yolk.
Roll out the smaller pastry for the pie lid, again on a lightly floured surface. When square and just slightly larger than the tin place it on top of the pie. Trim off any excess pastry neatly, and using the back of a fork crimp the edges to seal. Pierce the centre of the pie to make a steam vent and brush all over the top with the remaining beaten egg.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes at 200C until the pie is golden brown. As soon as you remove the pie from the oven, use a palette knife to carefully loosen the pastry case away from the edge of the tin. Leave the pie to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with seasonal steamed vegetables.