Crunchy, flakey pastry on top and even more delicious when the filling is REAL.
We had so much leftover Beef Ragu from Murray's feast that we decided to create our own pies with the leftovers... And feeling a little more than lazy after having a chest infection, I have become the ultimate cheat and used frozen short crust and puff pastries. Why make it when you're trying to make life easy for a lazy weekend?
I am not a fan of wasting food, but I also like to avoid eating the same thing for days on end, so this is the perfect answer to using leftovers, cold weather and rumbling tummies. As an extra benefit it's also a super economical way to use food! We are heading to Europe in less than 3 weeks, so it's also the perfect way to use what's in the cupboard and save some extra cash for a few wine tours by stretching meals a little bit further with some added vegetables.
I have never made a pie in my life and they turned out to be fantastic.
Definitely try these easy pies next time you've got leftovers from Murray's Mysterious Beef Ragu.
If I can do them, so can you!
LAZY LEFTOVER BEEF RAGU PIES
Makes 4 large pies
You will need 4 large pie tins. 6 if you have smaller tins.
2 large potatoes, steamed, peeled and chopped into 1-2cm rough cubes
3/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted (rinse under water) and drained well
3 sheets of frozen short crust pastry, thawed m and kept moist under a damp tea towel
2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed and kept moist under a damp tea towel
Butter and flour to grease and dust
1 egg, beaten lightly for an egg wash
1. Preheat a fan forced oven to 220 degrees celcius. Grease and dust the pie tins using the butter and flour.
2. CUTTING PASTRY FOR THE TINS-
SHORT CRUST PASTRY: Using the bottom of the pie tins cut 4 circles for the bases, making sure they're approximately half to a full centimetre larger than the base. Cut long pieces of pastry from the remaining sheets that are large enough to go up the sides of each dish and overlap the top by at least half a centimetre.
PUFF PASTRY: using the top of the pie tins cut 4 circles for the pie tops, making sure they're approximately half to a full centimetre large than the top so they can overlap. This will give you enough pastry to "pinch" the edges and make up for any shrinkage while baking.
3. LINING THE PASTRY - start with the short crust pastry. Place the small circles of pastry in each tin for the bases. Line the sides with the long strips of pastry. Push edges together and blend pastry to ensure it will stay together while baking.
TIP I roughened the edges with a knife so that the pieces of short crust pastry would blend better and used a little water when needed. I also found that cutting the strips into smaller sections worked better for moulding around the curved pie tins.
When each pie tin is lined with short crust, run a knife along the edge of the tins to remove excess pastry. Ensure the pastry isn't stuck to the tops once doing this.
4. PIE FILLING - keep this in the fridge until you need it. A cold filling works better when baking pies. Mix the potatoes and peas gently into the ragu. When you have lined the pie tins with the short crust pastry, fill each pie with the pie filling, leaving approximately 1cm to the top.
5. PIE TOPS - Use a knife to cut a small X in the middle of each circle of puff pastry. This will create a "steam vent" for the filling whilst cooking. Lightly brush the top edges of the short crust pastry with the egg wash and place the puff pastry on the top of the pies. Lightly press the puff pastry onto the edges and pinch together softly. Brush the top of each pie with the egg wash and bake for 50 mins using the BAKING INFORMATION below.
BAKING INFORMATION: Place the pie tins on a tray for easier movement while baking. Bake the pies for 20 mins at 220 degrees celcius, turning the tray after 10mins to avoid burning the pies at the back. After the first 20mins reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees celcius and continue baking for 30-40mins, or until golden brown and the puff pastry tops have puffed through to the middle of the pie top. Pies should be turned at least one more time to avoid the back pies burning. IF some filling liquid escapes and fills the pastry too, use a small amount of absorbent paper and soak up the liquid while turning. Be careful when doing this as the liquid is HOT.
TIP Add some puff pastry decoration to the tops of the pies with extra puff pastry, using a little egg wash as "glue", before covering the top completely with egg wash.
6. Turn the heat off and allow the pies to cool slightly in the oven.
Serve and enjoy!
A gluggable red wine would be great with these pies. Something simple and good enough for everyday drinking. Any red wine really would be great.
As with all pies, they go down well with a chilled bottle of your favourite beer too.
The choice is all yours!
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