(Serves 4-6)
  • 1.2kg of Beef. Stewing steak is fine.
  • 4 large flat mushrooms
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 500ml beef stock (e.g. one stock cube made up)
  • Half a bottle of red wine
  • 3 tablespoons of plain flour
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt for seasoning the flour
  • a dessert spoon of Tomato puree
  • a teaspoon of Mustard
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Shortcrust pastry for the pie top (I used Jus Rol Shortcrust Pastry)
  • One egg for washing the pastry
1. Dice the celery, carrot, onions and garlic. Slice the mushrooms.
2. Cube the beef. Remove any tough sinew.

3. Put the flour into a bowl and add freshly ground pepper and salt. You can either use a regular pepper mill or crush peppercorns with the flat of a large knife on a chopping board.

4. Toss the beef in the flour so that it is covered.
5. Put a pan on a high heat. When hot, add olive oil and add the celery, carrot, onions and garlic. Sweat these for a few minutes until soft. Put a lid on but keep them moving so they don't burn - turn down the heat if necessary.
6. When the vegetables are soft, add the mushrooms and continue to cook down for 3 minutes stirring them occasionally. Take the vegetables out and reserve for later in a dish.
7. Get the pan hot again - add more oil if necessary.

8. Brown the beef in small batches. Do not overfill the pan with the beef. At this point, you want to put colour onto the beef to seal it. Remove the beef when it is coloured and put with the vegetables. Take care not to burn excess flour onto the pan.
9. When you have finished, put a small amount of the wine into the pan on high heat to deglaze the pan for 1-2 minutes. Then put the beef and vegetables back into the pan and add the wine and bring up to the boil. Also, add the stock.

10. Bring to the boil and stir in the tomato puree and mustard. Add seasoning – if you have used a stock cube, you will not need to add much salt.

11. After 5 minutes at the boil to boil off the alcohol, reduce the heat and cover.
12. Simmer for approximately 2 hours or longer until the beef is tender and the liquid has reduced.
13. With a slotted spoon, move the contents to a pie dish. Pour just enough of the liquid to cover the pie. If there is any leftover, it can be reheated as extra gravy for serving.
14. Let the pie contents cool for 30 minutes at least, Whilst this is cooling, preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees (refer to the pastry instructions for your oven). Remove the pastry from the fridge so that it is at the right temperature.
15. Cover the pie with pastry. Use a palette knife to cut the pastry on the edge of the dish and a fork to make a pattern around the edge of the pastry to seal it. Beat an egg and use it to wash the pastry.  Cut two holes into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
16. Put the pie into the oven and cook for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
17. Serve with boiled potatoes and green beans. You can put the potatoes on approximately 20 minutes before the end of the pie cooking from cold and the green beans approximately 10 minutes before.