Freshly Blogged Challenge. Week 2

Who ate all the Pie?

Layered Beef Pie with Mushrooms and Cheddar
vote here!
You can see that week by week the challenges are getting trickier.
This week one different ingredient was suet, the rather unglamorous beef fat found surrounding the kidneys, and used in the traditional "steak and kidney pudding", made famous in the UK.
This fat is said to be "tasteless and light". I found that it added a definite beefiness to the pie dough, and since I am quite unused to the taste, I found that on the second day the flavour was more mild and less distinct.
Use all butter, or part vegetable shortening and part butter, if you dislike suet.
Since there are only the 2 of us in the house, it took us about 3 days to finish this pie, it was a bit of a feast, as this is a lovely hearty pie with loads of layers and flavours.

Don't be put off making your own pastry, I have made this recipe as simply as I can. You pretty much throw the ingredients together, roll out and fold over a few times and leave to chill.
Leaving the pastry to cool is important as the butter/suet sets and this will get your pastry rising when its in the oven.

I actually popped my pie in the oven and completely forgot to glaze it with egg. So I quickly did that while it was in the oven.You can see the colour is a bit uneven, but it is still completely delicious looking and crisp. Foolproof.

Finally, a bit of a secret ingredient is the star anise. This spice make meat taste meatier! Use with lamb, beef and generally any red meat to vamp up the volume. The slightly liquorish flavour mellows after long cooking.

Layered Beef Pie with Mushrooms and Cheddar
makes a 26cm pie

Serves 6-8
For the filling:
50g butter
3 Tbsp olive oil 
500g mix portabellini and brown mushrooms
500g beef shin
40g flour
1 Tbsp PnP ground star anise
PnP Soup mix: 2 carrots, 1 potato, celery, 1 turnip, parsley.
3 sprigs thyme
1 Knorr beef stock pot, 
1.5 L boiling water
salt and pepper
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated 

For the pastry:
350g flour
2ml salt
170g cold butter, cubed
80g beef suet, finely grated
150ml ice cold water
1 small egg, beaten

Slice the mushrooms cook them in a pot with the butter. Cook for 10 minutes. Pour the juices out and set aside. Cook for a further 5 minutes, until dry.
Chop the celery stalk, and its leaves. Peel and thinly slice the potato and the turnip. Peel and chop the carrots and chop the beef shin into roughly 2cm cubes. Coat the cubed beef and bones with the flour.
 Remove the mushrooms from the pot. Turn heat to high and add the olive oil. Add meat and bones and brown well for 5-10 minutes. Scrape the bottom often to prevent burning. Add the Star anise and the remainder of the flour. Cook for a further minute.
 Add the reserved mushroom juice, the boiling water and the stock pot. Add thyme, parsley, celery and leaves, carrots, and sliced potato and turnip.
Cook for 5 minutes then remove the sliced potatoes and turnips and set aside. Continue to simmer on a medium boil for 25 minutes. Bring to boil for 15 minutes to thicken. Season well, and remove the bones and leave to cool.

 For the pastry.
Make the pastry while the pie filling cooks.
Sift flour and salt together. Cut butter into cubes and add. Rub in so only half the butter is finely rubbed in. Finely grate in the beef suet. Add cold water and mix. Turn onto a surface and combine to make a dough, incorporating the flour from the bowl. When combined, roll out into a rectangle. Use extra flour if sticking.
Fold each side in and fold in half. Flatten out again into a rectangle. Repeat twice and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C.

 To make the pie
Gently roll out the pastry to 1/2cm thick. Place the pie dish ontop and cut around for the bottom. Roll out again and cut out the pie top, using the dish, but give an extra 2cm around the sides. Line the pie dish with the bottom pastry and bake in the oven until light brown on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Layer the potato and turnip slices on the bottom of the pie, add the beef mix, layer on the mushrooms. End with a layer of grated cheddar. 

Add the pie pastry top and glaze with beaten egg. Turn oven down to 180°C and bake for 30 minutes.


  1. The man would luuurve this. Will make for him :-) . What could i use instead of the Suet for a veggie option on the pastry??

  2. I prefer buying my pastry - but I had bought some suet while visiting my kids in London and will try making the pastry. There is only 2 of us also - I am sure we can demolish this pie speedily.

    1. The pastry is very quick to make, I used all butter and it was very rich, so the suet gives it a lighter but beefier flavour. :)

  3. love a good pie and this surely looks like a delicious pie!

  4. Hi Lara,
    I made the pie for the man and his granny... OOhhh wow, Polished the lot between the two of them, and even ate the little bit of filling that wouldn't fit in the dish... Thanks Mills straight into the "Like" pile.. lol

    1. I'm so glad :D I made it again to feed 8 guests, and everyone was full with just one slice, and veggies on the side. Winner!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.