Thursday, 21 January 2016

Beef and Lentil Filo Pie

This comfort food classic is a simple one that uses filo pastry as a crust instead of puff or shortcrust - I use shop bought that is always in my freezer, and the filling is much the same as it would be for a cottage pie.

Lean steak mince, lentils, a selection of vegetables; such as carrots, peas, celery and whatever else you may have to hand makes for a great, warming pie and served with creamy mashed potato you really cannot go wrong. Unless like me you are dieting - in which case excuse this recipe and don't look until the time comes that you need and crave pie.

It's also a great meal for all the family and our little sixteen month old loves it.

Beef and Lentil Filo Pie

Serves 3 (2 adults here and 1 tot)

Here's how:

  • 250g lean steak mince
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 leek
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tbsp peas
  • 50g dried red lentils
  • 1 Oxo cube
  • Tin of beef consomme (Baxter's do a very good one) or 200g beef stock
  • Drizzle of rapeseed oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 6 sheets of filo pastry
  • 1 egg

Firstly pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C and place a non-stick pan on a low heat on the hob with a drizzle of rapeseed oil.

Now peel and dice the onion and garlic and add to the pan to slowly and gently saute.

In the meantime, finely slice the leek and celery, peel and finely dice the carrot into small cubes and set aside for the moment with the peas and lentils.

Add the steak mince in a little at a time, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up and allow to slowly brown, adding more as it cooks. Once the meat is nearly all browned, add the carrots, leeks, lentils, peas and leeks to the pan and cook for a further three or four minutes. Crumble over the Oxo cube which will add flavour to the meat and the gravy.

Add a good pinch of salt and pepper and then pour over the consomme or beef stock and allow to cook for a good ten to fifteen minutes on a low heat. Once it has reduced down a little and the consomme has become more of a thick gravy and not pure liquid, you can transfer the dish to an ovenproof pie dish (TIP: if the gravy is not yet thick - cook a little longer, and if the consistency is still quite watery add 1/2 tsp cornflour and stir through and cook for a further five minutes - this should thicken it up a bit).

Now get the filo, which is a very delicate to the touch pastry, and simply place one sheet to cover all of the pie filling, then keep layering it up, scrunching up the final layer for some added crunch once baked.

Crack the egg into a little bowl or a mug, give a good whisk and then use a pastry brush to glaze the pastry topping.

Now use a sharp knife to make several slits in the pastry lid all the way down to the filling to allow air to escape and to prevent the pastry from being underdone or soggy.

Place into the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with mash potato and a selection of green vegetables. Enjoy!

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