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    Steak, Shallot and Red-Wine Pies

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    Steak, Shallot and Red-Wine Pies

    In an ideal world, you'd cook the meat filling for these pies a day or two ahead, let it cool, and make the pies another day. Of course, if you're audacious enough to invite guests over midweek, you can cook it on the weekend, so it can be finished off after work. There are many fat seams in the feather steak, which can look off-putting, but after 2½ hours they'll melt into tenderness.

    • Preparation time: 45 minutes
    • Cooking time: 150 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 15 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 1 tbsp oil
    • 25g butter
    • 200g small shallots, peeled and halved
    • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
    • 2 sticks celery, peeled and finely diced
    • 500g feather steak, cut into 1 cm cubes
    • 2 tbsp plain flour
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 250ml red wine
    • 400ml beef stock
    • 4 anchovies
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 500g puff pastry
    • 1 medium egg, beaten

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Heat the oil and butter in a casserole dish over a medium heat and cook the shallots, shaking the pan so they brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and brown the carrots and celery. Take these out and add the meat. Cook for about 4-5 minutes each side so it develops a really golden crust. Return the veggies to the pan and add the tomato purée. Cook for 1 minute and add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour covered and 1 hour uncovered until almost tender. It will have some more time in the oven later.
    2. Leave the beef in a cool place so it's not piping hot when you put the pastry on. Taste and season. Turn the oven up to 200°C, gas mark 6. Use the cooling time to prepare the pastry. Roll it out until ½cm thick and cut out 6 ovals, 2cm bigger than the diameter of your 6 oven-proof dishes. Cut 6 cow shapes out of the pastry offcuts. Spoon the meat into the dishes. Brush the rim of the dishes with the egg wash and press the pastry into position. Brush the top with egg and make a steam hole. Press on the cow and brush with the egg. Place the pies on a baking sheet and pop in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until puffed up. Serve piping hot.

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