Mums Steak and Mushroom Pie is rich beef and mushrooms in a thick gravy all encased in mums perfect pastry. This is total homely comfort food at it’s best.
My mums Steak and Mushroom Pie. Aaaahh! If you could see me now, you’d see a big silly grin on my face and a look of total contentment. That’s the feeling that this pie gives me.
I come from an English background so this is the kind of good, homely and honest food I grew up with and when I moved out of home (many years ago) it’s the food I missed. Mums Steak and Mushroom Pie has to be one of my most favourite dishes in the world. If I could have one last meal request it would be a toss up between Hainanese Chicken Rice and mums pie (but I’m pretty sure it’d be the pie if it really came down to it). Or maybe Mums sausage rolls aka the Best Homemade Sausage Rolls ever!
This is one of those recipes with only a few ingredients but, done properly, it’s heavenly.
A tricky task
Mums pastry has always been known as the best going – golden and crispy and so full of flavour. Here’s the problem – Mum doesn’t use a recipe. It’s all in her head and in the feel of the dough, she says. She has this habit of ‘bunging’ the ingredients in. ‘Bunging in’ is mums technical term for just adding ingredients as you see fit until it all looks and feels right.
This makes my task of recording the recipe difficult but not impossible. We had planned to meet up so mum and I could make the pie together and I was imagining holding out cups to catch mums ingredients as she ‘bunged’ things in. Lucky for me, mum got to work, measured and weighed and here we today.
Inside that perfect golden crust is a magical filling of tender chunks of beef, mushrooms and a rich gravy. The beef is coated in flour to begin, which results in a nice thick gravy at the end. The beef is sealed and browned just a little to begin with which adds flavour to the whole pie. So comforting! I’m telling you, you need to try this and, when winter comes around, I know you and your family will be in pie-y heaven.
Tips and Tricks for Mums Steak and Mushroom Pie
- This Steak and Mushroom Pie recipe makes enough for a large pie (24cm or 9.5 inches in diameter). You can certainly make a smaller batch just by cutting down on ingredients.
- When you seal the meat in the pan, make sure to get it nice and brown in places as this will add plenty of flavour to the finished pie.
- DO NOT put hot filling into the pastry case. This will melt all the butter in the pastry and it won’t end up nice and crispy. It will also make putting the top on very difficult.
- Mum makes her pastry by hand, rubbing the butter into the flour until you have a breadcrumb consistency. I use a food processor. My pastry does turn out slightly different to mums but it’s still flaky and crispy and perfect when baked so either option is totally acceptable.
- This is great served with more gravy and mashed potato.
I wouldn’t change a thing about Mums Steak and Mushroom Pie. IT IS life!
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Mums Steak and Mushroom Pie
For the pie
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (notes)
- 1 large brown onion, roughly chopped
- 1 kg (2.2 pounds) gravy beef or stewing steak, trimmed of fat and cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup (35g / 1oz) plain (AP) flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 litre (4 cups) beef stock, plus a little extra
- 400 g mushrooms, chopped roughly
For the pastry
- 450 g (1 pound) plain (AP) flour
- 225 g (8oz) salted butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) cold water
- 1 egg extra, lightly beaten
For the filling:
In a large casserole pan, sauté the onion over medium heat until softened.
Mix together the flour, salt and pepper then mix it through the cubed beef. Turn the heat up to high, then add the beef to the pan with the onion and cook until sealed all over.
Add enough stock to cover the beef and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium and bring it to a simmer. Cover, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking for about 40 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 1/2 hour to reduce the gravy.
If the gravy gets too thick you can add a little more stock or a little water but you want it quite thick. The liquid should reduce by about half, remembering to stir every so often.
Once the meat is tender, adjust the seasoning, then add the mushrooms and leave the mixture to cool.
To make the pastry:
To a food processor, add the flour and butter and process until it looks like bread crumbs. Add the egg yolks and blitz just enough to combine. With the food processor on low, slowly add the water until the dough starts to clump together.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and just pull together with your hands. If it's a warm day, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1/2 an hour before continuing.
Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / 180C fan forced.
On a floured surface, roll out half the pastry large enough to fit the bottom of a 24cm (9.5 inch) pie dish and about 3-4mm thick. Lay into the bottom of the pie dish making sure it overhangs the lip a little.
Add the cold meat and mushroom mixture into the dish and brush a little water around the edge of the overhanging pastry base.
Now roll out the second half of the pastry dough and lay it over the top, making sure it overhangs the edges also. Using the thumb and forefinger of one hand and the forefinger of your other hand, pinch the edges together all the way round to seal the edge of the pie. Brush the top of the pie all over with a beaten egg, then poke 4 holes in the top (so that steam can escape).
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and the top is golden all over.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).