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Steak Pot Pies

Memories of childhood in a pie dish is what this steak pie is to me. My Step-mum Marji made a mighty meat pie when we were kids as well as a self saucing pudding. I don't think she'll mind me saying that was the extent of her culinary expertise (save for a mean sausage in a roll on a Saturday morning with sesame seed rolls, tomato ketchup, real butter spread thickly so when the hot sausages hit the butter and ketchup it would run all down your hand!)
6 tbsp olive oil
20g butter
1 white onions, diced
1 large carrots diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
3 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
A pinch of sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.5 kg braising steak, diced
2 beef oxo cubes
1 Knorr herb stock pot
1 Knorr beef gravy pot
1&1/2 x quantity of rough puff pastry or 1&1/2 pkt All butter puff pastry (if you're making one large pie you'll only need 1 quantity of pastry)
Egg wash (1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tbsp milk)

You will also need  6 small pie dishes or one large pie dish 

Preheat the oven to 120ºC/250ºF/gas mark 1/2.

In a large ovenproof pan, heat the oil with the butter. Add the onions, carrots, celery and sauté over a medium heat for about 10 minutes or until just softened. Remove the vegetables from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large sandwich bag. Add the diced beef and shake together to coat. Brown the beef in the hot pan in batches and add more butter and oil if the pan becomes too dry. 

Return the browned beef and softened vegetables back to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any caught bits from the bottom of the pan, then add the stock cubes and herb and gravy pots mixed with 500ml of boiling water . Stir well, bring to the boil, cover and place in the oven for 3-4 hours, checking regularly and adding more water if the liquid is getting too low. 

Once the meat is tender, remove from the oven, check the seasoning. Transfer into the pie dish/s and leave to cool.

Turn the oven up to 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5.

On a floured work-surface, roll the pastry out so that it is slightly larger than the top of the pie dish/s. Brush the edges of the dish with egg wash and use the trimmings as a lining round the rim for the pastry to adhere to. Lay the pastry on top. Trim the edges, make a couple of pricks in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape, and brush with the egg wash. 

Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.