- Serves 8
- Takes 5 hrs
FOR THE FILLING
- 250ml cake flour
- 2kg beef chuck steak (without bones), cut into 2cm pieces
- olive or avocado oil, for frying
- 4 onions, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, grated
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- handful fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 60ml tomato paste
- 375ml beer
- 625ml beef stock
FOR THE SOUR CREAM PASTRY
- 350g cold butter, cubed
- 675g cake flour + extra for rolling
- 250ml sour cream
- 10ml salt
FOR THE EGG WASH
- 1 egg, beaten
- 15ml water
- For the filling, season the flour and coat the beef, shaking off the excess flour. Heat a splash of oil on high and cook the beef in batches for about 5-8 minutes until browned. Season and set aside.
- Heat another splash of oil in the same saucepan and sauté the onions, celery and carrots. Return the beef to the pan with the garlic, thyme, tomato paste, beer and stock. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until tender. Season. Allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, for the pastry, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream and salt and stir until it comes together (see tip). Don’t overwork the dough. Shape into a flat disc, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes until firm.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 23cm x 10cm deep springform cake tin or pie dish (if you don’t mind turning it out). Roll ¾ of the dough out between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap into a 40cm circle of about 5mm thickness. Peel the top layer of plastic wrap off the dough, pick up using a rolling pin and line the prepared tin with the dough using the plastic wrap as a guide. Cut off the excess dough, leaving a 1cm overhang (reserve the offcuts). Keep in the fridge.
- Roll the remaining ¼ of the dough out between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap to 5mm thickness and cut into a 5cm circle. Keep in the fridge.
- Combine and roll the off-cuts out between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Keep in the fridge until firm. Use the template or alphabet cookie cutters to cut your words out of the pastry. Place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes until hard (this makes it easier to move around on the pie).
- For the egg wash, combine the egg and water and brush over the 1cm dough overhang of the pie case (reserve the leftover egg wash). Spoon the filling into the pie case and cover with the 25cm dough circle. Cut off the excess dough, leaving a 1cm overhang. Pinch the doughs together to enclose the filling and shape into a scalloped pattern. Keep in the fridge until firm.
- Brush egg wash over the pie and arrange the words on top. Brush the letters with egg wash too. Cut 4 small crosses into the pie for steam to escape. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Cover with foil if the top browns too much. Cool for at least 15 minutes before turning out, if you like.
Tip: Add 1-2 tablespoons of ice water to the dough if it’s too crumbly. Don’t add too much though – it should be quite dry but still able to roll. Make sure the dough is kept cold while you work.