Leicestershire County Cook Off recipe ...
Method for rough puff pastry:
Put the flour in a mound on the work surface and make a well.
Place the butter and salt in the well and work them together with the fingertips of one hand, gradually drawing the flour into the centre with the other hand.
When the cubes of butter have become small pieces and the dough is grainy, gradually add the iced water and mix until it is all incorporated, but don’t overwork the dough.
Roll it into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Flour the work surface and roll out the pastry into a 40 x 20cm rectangle.
Fold it into three and give it a quarter turn.
Roll the block of pastry into a 40 x 20cm rectangle as before and fold it into three again.
Wrap the block in cling film and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
Give the chilled pastry another two turns, rolling and folding as before.
This makes a total of four turns and the pastry is now ready.
Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
Method for the pie :
Place the beef, garlic, thyme, peppercorns and ale into a bowl. Cover and marinade overnight or for a minimum of 2-3 hours.
Remove the beef from the marinade, pat dry and toss in the seasoned flour. Strain the marinade and retain the liquid.
In a casserole dish heat the oil and butter and brown off the meat. You may need to do this in batches as we want the meat to colour, not stew. Once the meat is browned remove from the casserole dish and set aside.
Brown off the chestnut mushrooms and shallots in the same casserole dish for about 5 minutes.
Then add the beef, the marinade liquid and beef stock back into the casserole dish, cover and gently simmer for about 11/2 hours until the meat is tender (or cook in the oven at 160C/325F/Gas3 for the same length of time)
Then strain off half the cooking liquid from the casserole dish and reserve, this will make for additional gravy for serving.
While the filling is still hot crumble the stilton onto the filling and mix well until melted.
Season to taste and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Butter and flour your mini pie dishes and set aside.
With a slotted spoon fill the pies with the beef and stilton filling and pack gently to give a full and generous pie. Repeat accordingly.
Add some of the cooling liquid to each pie and set aside.
On a floured surface roll out your puff pastry to a thickness of about 2.5cm, this will give a lovely raised puffy top to your pie. Cut out the pastry slightly bigger than the pie dishes so as to help it seal.
Brush the edges of your pastry with the beaten egg and place on top of your mini pie dish. Crimp and trim off any excess pastry, making sure you’ve sealed the pies well.
Make a small hole in the middle of the pastry top to allow the steam to escape and brush with the remaining egg.
Place preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
While your pies are cooking, reduce the remaining gravy to intensify the flavours (if you fancy you could add a teaspoon of redcurrant jelly) add a knob of butter to give your gravy a shinny finish.
Method for the celeriac and mustard mash:
Peel and cut the celeriac into even-sized chunks. Put them in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender. Drain and mash.
Cut the potatoes into even-sized chunks. Cook in the same way, drain and mash.
Put both vegetables into one pan over a low heat. Stir in the butter, the cream and mustard. Season to taste.
Method for the honey roasted beetroot:
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425F/Gas 7.
Using a small melon baller or similar, scoop out balls of beetroot.
In a bowl add the thyme, vinegar, olive oil and honey, mix well. Add the beetroot balls to the mix, coat well and season.
Place the contents of the bowl in a high sided tray and roast for 15 minutes until the beetroot has become sticky and glazed.
Serve your perfect pies with the mash and beetroot on the side and a jug of gravy.
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