British Pie Week is upon us, and what better time to make this formidable Rose Harissa Beef Pie with suet pastry. The flaky, golden pastry encompasses a hearty filling of beef, onions, Rose Harissa, leeks, and carrots.
450g plain flour
100g of butter, room temperature, in small cubes
2kg beef cheek, cut into cubes
1 onion, finely diced
3 carrots, cubed
1 leek, cut in rounds
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely sliced
200g frozen baby onions
500ml can of ale
3tbsp Rose Harissa
½ beef stock cube
1 egg, beaten for glazing
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl, add the butter and suet and work into breadcrumbs with your fingers. Once it has a breadcrumb-like consistency, add 1tbsp of cold water to bring it together. Keep adding drops of water and mixing it until it comes together and does not look sticky. Continue to work until it becomes a smooth dough. Divide into two, cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Toss the beef cheek with ½tsp salt and pepper. Then in a large frying pan, heat 50ml of Olive Oil on a medium to high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the beef cheek, making sure every side of the cubes has been browned – this should take 5-10 minutes. Place the beef in a bowl and set aside until later.
Deglaze the pan with water and add 50ml of Olive Oil to the pan on a low to medium heat. Add all the vegetables and remaining salt, then sauté for ten minutes until soft and sweet.
Add the beef cheek and its juices back to the pan, then add the ale, Rose Harissa and stock cube. Fill the pan with water until its contents are just covered. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover with baking paper, and place the lid on the pan. Cook for 2.5 hours, stirring occasionally until the beef is tender, topping up with water if needed. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Heat the oven to 175C/Fan 155C/Gas Mark 4. When ready to make the pie, dust your work surface with flour and roll one half of the pastry into a circle that is slightly wider than the pie dish, so that the pastry overlaps the edges. Use the rolling pin to pick up the pastry and lay over the pie dish, then use your fingers to tuck the pastry into the base of the dish.
Roll the other half of the pastry into a similar sized circle and if you are going to do a lattice topping cut into 2cm strips – if not, leave whole.
Place the filling into the pie crust and either make your lattice on top or place the whole layer of pastry on top. Crimp the edges with a fork and trim any excess pastry with a knife. Brush the pie with the beaten egg then bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling is piping hot throughout.