Steak and parsnip pie


serves 4
750 g (1 1/2 lb) chuck steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
25 g (1 oz) plain flour
400 g (14 oz) can tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
bouquet garni
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250 g (9 oz) parsnips, cut into chunky pieces
215 g (7 1/2 oz) packet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
a little beaten egg, to glaze


1. Heat the oven to l80C/350F/Gas4.

2. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole, add the meat and onion and fry until the onion is soft and the meat is browned on all sides. Sprinkle in the flour, then cook for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, crumble in the stock cube and stir well to mix. Add the bouquet garni and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring, then cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is just tender.

4. Stir in the parsnips and cook for a further 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a shape slightly larger than the circumference of a 1 L/2 pint pie dish. Cut off a long narrow strip of pastry all around the edge. Reserve this and other trimmings.

6. Transfer the meat and parsnip mixture to the pie dish, then discard the bouquet garni and taste and adjust seasoning. Increase the oven
temperature to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Brush the rim of the pie dish with water, then press the narrow strip of pastry all around the rim. Brush the strip with a little more water, then place the large piece of pastry on top. Trim the edge of the pastry, then knock up and flute.

7. Make leaves or other shapes with the pastry trimmings, then place on top of the pie, brushing the underneath with water so that they do not come off during baking. Make a small hole in the centre of the pie for the steam to escape, then brush all over the pastry with beaten egg.

8. Bake the pie in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is well risen and golden brown. Serve hot.

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