Welcome to the comforting realm of savory delights with our Hairy Bikers Beef Pie recipe. This hearty dish is a celebration of tender beef, slow-cooked to perfection, enveloped in a golden, flaky pastry crust.
Perfect for those chilly evenings or when you’re craving a wholesome, filling meal, the Hairy Bikers Beef Pie is a classic that never goes out of style. This recipe caters to both the seasoned home cook and those looking to embark on their culinary journey with a straightforward approach to achieve culinary excellence.
In this article, I’ll guide you through the steps to create the Hairy Bikers Beef Pie, sharing practical tips and insights along the way to ensure your kitchen is filled with the warm, inviting aroma of a homemade masterpiece.
What is Hairy Bikers Beef Pie Recipe?
Hairy Bikers Beef Pie is a delicious and hearty British dish that consists of tender chunks of beef and vegetables cooked in a rich ale gravy and topped with a flaky puff pastry crust. It is a classic comfort food that is perfect for cold winter days or special occasions.
Designed to serve 4-6 hungry souls, this beef pie is a delicious centerpiece for family dinners or gatherings with friends. With a preparation time of approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, including baking, this recipe strikes the right balance between simplicity and indulgence.
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Why You Love this Recipe
You will love this recipe because:
- Simplicity of Preparation: Utilizes easy-to-find ingredients along with ready-made pastry, making the cooking process straightforward.
- Rich in Flavor and Texture: Offers a delightful combination of juicy meat, tender vegetables, and a crisp pastry topping.
- Versatile Ingredient Use: Excellent for repurposing leftover roast beef or stewing steak.
- Make-Ahead and Freezer-Friendly: This can be prepared in advance and frozen for future meals.
- Hearty and Satisfying: A fulfilling dish that is perfect for feeding a large group.
Ingredients Needed to Make Hairy Bikers Beef Pie
To make Hairy Bikers Beef Pie, you will need the following ingredients:
- 500 g home-made or ready-made puff pastry
- 5 tbsp sunflower oil
- 200 g smoked streaky bacon rashers, cut into 1cm/0.5inch strips
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 850 g well-marbled braising steak, trimmed of hard fat or gristle
- 500 ml bottle of real ale
- 500 ml good-quality beef stock
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped from stalks
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp cornflour, blended with 2 tbsp cold water
- 250 g small chestnut mushrooms, wiped and halved or quartered if large
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg, beaten for glazing
- A large frying pan
- A flameproof casserole dish
- A 1.2-litre (2.5-pint) pie dish
- A pie bird or funnel
- A rolling pin
- A pastry brush
- A sharp knife
- A cutting board
- A measuring jug
- A measuring spoon
- A wooden spoon
- A slotted spoon
Instructions to Make Hairy Bikers Beef Pie
Here is the step-by-step instructions to make Hairy Bikers Beef Pie:
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the pastry
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4. If you are using homemade puff pastry, roll it out on a well-floured surface until about 5mm thick and at least 5cm/2inch larger than your pie dish. Cut some strips, about 1cm/0.5 inch wider than the rim of the dish, from around the edge. If you are using ready-made puff pastry, you can skip this step and use it as it is.
Step 2: Fry the bacon, onions, and garlic
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the bacon strips with the onions until pale golden brown, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and fry for a minute or two until softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions, garlic, and bacon to a flameproof casserole dish and set aside.
Step 3: Brown the beef
Cut the steak into rough 2.5cm/1-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the same frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the meat in 2 or 3 batches until well browned all over. Add extra oil if the pan seems dry. Transfer the beef to the casserole dish as it is browned.
Step 4: Deglaze the frying pan with ale
Deglaze the frying pan with half the ale. Bring it to a boil while stirring hard to lift all the sediment from the bottom of the pan. Pour this over the beef in the casserole dish.
Step 5: Add the stock, tomato purée, and herbs
Add the remaining ale, then the stock, tomato purée, and herbs to the casserole dish. Bring everything to a boil, then cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
Step 6: Thicken the sauce and add the mushrooms
Remove the dish from the oven, stir in the cornflour paste, then put it back for 5 minutes or until the juices are thick. Adjust the seasoning to taste, remove the bay leaves and leave to cool slightly. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms over high heat for about 5 minutes until golden, then add them to the meat.
Step 7: Spoon the filling into the pie dish and add the pastry
Spoon the filling into the pie dish around a pie bird or funnel. Brush the edge of the dish with the beaten egg and fix the pastry strips in place, overlapping a little where necessary, then brush with more egg. Place the pastry sheet over the dish and press the edges together to seal. Trim off any excess pastry and make a small hole in the center to allow the steam to escape. Brush the pastry top thoroughly with the remaining beaten egg and place on a baking tray.
Step 8: Bake the pie and serve
Turn the oven up to 200°C/fan 180°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy your Hairy Bikers Beef Pie with some mashed potatoes, peas, and gravy.
What Do I Serve With Hairy Bikers Beef Pie?
Enjoy your Hairy Bikers Beef Pie with these perfect pairings:
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Their smooth, buttery texture beautifully complements the rich gravy of the pie.
- Crisp Green Beans or Savoy Cabbage: These add a refreshing crunch and a pop of color to your meal.
- Rich, Thick Gravy: Drizzle extra gravy over your pie for an added layer of flavor.
- Soft Bread and Butter: Ideal for soaking up any remaining delicious sauce and pastry crumbs.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Hairy Bikers Beef Pie
To ensure your Hairy Bikers Beef Pie turns out perfectly every time, consider these expert tips:
- Flavorful Flour Coating: Enhance the flavor and thicken the sauce by generously seasoning the flour before coating the meat.
- Perfect Searing: Achieve a golden, caramelized crust that seals in the juices by browning the meat on high heat.
- Gentle Simmering: Allow the filling to simmer slowly, enabling the meat to become tender and the flavors to integrate beautifully.
- Pastry Preparation: Prevent the pastry from becoming soggy by slightly cooling the filling before adding it.
- Egg Wash for a Golden Crust: Apply a beaten egg wash to the pastry for a shiny, golden finish.
Variations of Hairy Bikers Beef Pie
Exploring different variations of the Hairy Bikers Beef Pie can add an exciting twist to this classic dish.
Here are some creative ideas to try:
- Vegetarian Twist: Replace the beef with a mix of hearty vegetables like portobello mushrooms, lentils, or chickpeas for a vegetarian version.
- Chicken Substitute: For a lighter pie, use chicken thighs or breasts instead of beef, adjusting cooking times accordingly.
- Different Pastry Options: Experiment with different types of pastry such as shortcrust or filo for a varied texture and flavor.
- Spicy Kick: Add a bit of heat with chopped chilies, cayenne pepper, or your favorite spicy sauce mixed into the filling.
- Cheese Topping: Sprinkle grated cheese on the pastry before baking for a deliciously melted and golden crust.
- Wine-Based Gravy: Swap the ale for a rich red wine to create a more sophisticated gravy flavor.
- Herbal Notes: Incorporate different herbs like rosemary, sage, or parsley for a unique aromatic touch.
- Root Vegetable Boost: Add diced turnips, parsnips, or sweet potatoes for additional texture and sweetness.
- Creamy Twist: Stir in a dollop of cream or crème fraîche into the filling for a richer, more luxurious pie.
- Mini Pies: Make individual pies in muffin tins for personal servings, perfect for parties or small gatherings.
How do I store Hairy Bikers Beef Pie Leftovers?
Proper storage and reheating techniques will help maintain the pie’s quality:
- Refrigeration: Keep the pie fresh for 3-4 days by wrapping it in foil or plastic, or placing it in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Freezing: For extended storage, tightly wrap the pie using freezer-safe materials. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
How do I reheat Hairy Bikers Beef Pie Leftovers?
How do I make the pastry more flaky and crisp?
To make the pastry more flaky and crisp, you can follow these tips:
- Use cold butter and water when making the pastry dough, and chill it in the fridge before rolling it out.
- Don’t overwork the dough or roll it too thin, as this will make it tough and dense.
- Cut some slits or holes in the pastry top to allow the steam to escape and prevent the pastry from becoming soggy.
- Brush the pastry with beaten egg before baking, to create a glossy and golden crust.
What kind of ale should I use for the pie filling?
You can use any kind of ale you like, but a dark and malty one will give more depth and flavor to the sauce. Some examples are stout, porter, brown ale, or amber ale. You can also use non-alcoholic ale if you prefer.
Can I Make Hairy Bikers Beef Pie in Advance?
Answer: Yes, you can prepare the Hairy Bikers Beef Pie in advance. Assemble the pie and keep it refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking. If you wish to freeze it, assemble the pie, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil, and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as instructed.
What Are the Best Cuts of Beef for This Pie?
Answer: The best cuts of beef for the Hairy Bikers Beef Pie are those that are well-suited for slow cooking. Braising steak, chuck steak, or stewing beef are ideal as they become tender and flavorful when cooked slowly. Avoid lean cuts as they can become tough and dry.
Can I Substitute the Ale in the Recipe?
Answer: Yes, if you prefer not to use ale, you can substitute it with an equal amount of beef broth or a rich red wine. The substitute will alter the flavor slightly, but it will still produce a delicious pie.
How Can I Ensure My Pastry Doesn’t Become Soggy?
Answer: To prevent a soggy pastry, make sure the filling is not too wet or hot when assembling the pie. Letting the filling cool down slightly before topping it with pastry helps. Also, baking the pie in a preheated oven ensures that the pastry cooks quickly, becoming crisp and golden.
Can I use other types of meat or vegetables for the pie filling?
Yes, you can use other types of meat or vegetables for the pie filling, depending on your preference and availability. Some possible substitutions are:
- Lamb, pork, or chicken instead of beef
- Leeks, celery, or parsnips instead of onions or carrots
- Button, shiitake, or oyster mushrooms instead of chestnut mushrooms
Nutrition value per serving:
- Calories: 923 kcal
- Fat: 58 g
- Carbohydrates: 57 g
- Protein: 40 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Sodium: 1,017 mg
I hope you enjoyed this Hairy Bikers Beef Pie Recipe. This is a classic British dish that will warm you up on a cold day. It’s easy to make and full of flavor. You can also customize it with your favorite ingredients and spices. Let me know how it turned out for you and if you have any questions or feedback. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!