When the cold weather snap arrives and the leaves start falling, we all start craving something warm with a bit of comfort. And my go to dish in autumn has always been PIE! Surprise, Surprise ;-)
Now, I have combined my love for beef cheeks with beer and pumpkin! This is a great way to use up all those pumpkins that are lying around for Halloween as well. Topped with my ultimate flakey and golden pastry to make the perfect pie that is sure to impress.
If you can’t find beef cheeks, any other slow cooking beef cuts will work fine such as brisket or ask your local butcher. Also, you may find squash or sweet potato to be a great alternative for pumpkin.
My Beef Cheek and Pumpkin Pie
- 2 beef cheeks, cut into 4cm cubes
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, cut in half skin on
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 500ml pumpkin beer or your favourite ale
- 500g pumpkin, peeled & cut into 3cm cubes
- 750ml of good quality beef or veal stock
- 1 tbsp butter
- olive oil for frying
- salt & pepper
For the Pastry:
- 200g plain flour
- 150g butter, chilled & cut into 1cm cubes
- 50ml sour cream
- 1 tsp salt
- egg yolk for brushing
In a bowl place the beef cheeks, onion, garlic, thyme, beer with a pinch of pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
Next day take the beef cheeks out of the bowl, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. In a heavy based pan, heat some oil to high heat and fry off in batches until brown all over. *Do not overcrowd the pan
Place in an oven-proof saucepan and add the beer marinade and veg to the pan, add the beef stock, cover and cook in a low oven 130C/250F for 3 hours or until very tender but not falling apart.
Carefully strain through a sieve into a clean saucepan reserving beef and stock only but keeping them separate. Discard the remaining veg and herbs. Reduce the stock until thick and glossy then whisk in a tbsp of butter. Add the beef and the pumpkin chunks. The pumpkin will cook when the pastry is cooking (pumpkin will fall apart if cooked too long). Allow to cool and refrigerate until needed.
For the pastry:
Add the flour and salt into a food processor, add the butter and combine to a breadcrumb consistently. Add the sour cream and pulse to combine. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Pre-heat oven to 180C/ 350F or gas mark 4.
Fill four individual pie dishes with the beef and pumpkin filling. Separate the pastry into 4 and roll into circles/ovals, 10mm thick making sure they overlap each pie dish to make a lid. Brush egg yolk around the rim of the pie dish then top with a circle of pastry, seal and crimp the edges and trim around the sides to neaten.
Brush pastry with the egg yolk and prick the top with a knife. Bake for about 20-25 minutes till the pastry is golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
photos by Carolina Menendez.