curried beef pie | the ‘pheobe’ pie

The best thing you can do for someone who has just welcomed a new baby in to the family is cook something for them.

I remember the way I’ve felt over the years when friends have dropped some home cooking off to my door in times of need (or just in times of lack of sleep!) and it’s amazing how a simple gesture such as baking a pie, goes a long way to making a person feel loved. It’s nice knowing that someone is thinking of you!

This basic beef mince and puff pastry pie is a cracker and is based on a recipe that my beautiful mother in law, Anne, has made for years. It is comforting, really delicious and freezes well so you know that it won’t go to waste.

I’ve renamed this, the ‘Pheobe’ pie to welcome little Pheobs to the Harefield netball team! Guso and Cork Daddy are here to give Daddy Dave a few pointers too.

curried beef pie |the ‘Pheobe’ pie

1 kilo of beef mince
2 sheets of frozen puff pastry
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large carrot, grated
1 tub of tomato paste (140 grams)
1 beef stock cube, dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water
A good dash of Worcestershire sauce
A good sprinkle of dried parsley
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 large tablespoons of tomato relish (or you can use jam)
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Canola oil spray, for greasing the pie dish
1 egg, beaten, for brushing over the pastry
Baking beads, or 1 cup of uncooked rice, for blind baking the pastry

  • Heat a dash of olive oil in a heavy based large pan (use whatever you normally cook your spag bol in) and saute the onions for a couple of minutes until soft.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the mince and cook until browned, stirring as you go. Season the mince with a good amount of salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  • Add the grated carrot, tomato paste, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, relish, mustard, curry powder and tomato sauce. Mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Let this simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. (Add a touch more water if you need to).
  • You are now going to ‘blind bake’ the pastry (see sequence of pics below). While the meat is simmering away, you can spray the inside of a pie dish with canola oil spray and place one piece of puff pastry in the dish.
  • Add a piece of baking paper on top and either place the baking beads on top, or use a cup of uncooked rice. (This is to hold the baking paper down as the pastry cooks).
  • Place the pie dish in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the pastry has just started looking like it’s cooked. (You don’t want it to be really brown- just see that the edges have puffed up a bit and the base should look like it’s also puffed up a bit too).
  • Add the mince mixture on top and place the other sheet of puff pastry on top, so that the edges don’t meet up with the bottom sheet. (By laying the pastry over the bottom layer like this, it creates a octagonal pattern).
  • Brush the beaten egg over the pastry with a pastry brush (or use your fingers if you don’t own a pastry brush) and then poke some holes in the pastry using a fork. (This allows some of the heat to escape, resulting in a nice crispy pastry).
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until browned on top.

Serve with mashed potato and steamed greens, or wrap it up in a tea towel while still warm and drop it round to a friend who you think might appreciate it!

Lo’s tips

  • I’ve told you to ‘blind bake’ the pastry because that is what my Mum has always done. Basically it just means that you are giving the pastry on the bottom of the pie a bit of a head start because once you add the moist mince mixture, it can go a little soggy. In saying that though, my mother in law, Nee (to the grandkids) never blind bakes her pastry and her version of the pie is spot on. I guess it’s just out of habit that I do it. All those years of watching Mum blind bake the puff pastry for her famous chicken pie! Gosh – another ‘must have’ recipe to add to the blog!
  • Also, if you use the uncooked rice to blind bake the pastry, don’t throw it away. You can keep it in a jar for next time.

So many meals that I seem to cook start with chopping up a brown onion!

PS. I think it’s about time I bought myself a round pie dish. I bake mine in the base of a tagine!

See below how the pastry has started to “puff” up after blind baking it!

Fit the top piece of pastry so that it overlaps.

The egg wash on top makes the pastry nice and golden once cooked.

To create a mini ‘carry handle’, tie up the tea towel once, starting from two corners, and then again.

Note to self: Must iron tea towels before using them in pics!

Ha! Like that’ll ever happen.

If you make this ‘Pheobe’ pie, send me a pic here as I’d love to post it on the blog!



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