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Slow Cooker Steak Pie

Culinary Comfort: Slow Cooker Steak Pie

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Indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience with this recipe for Slow Cooker Steak Pie. Bursting with rich flavors and tender chunks of beef, encased in a flaky puff pastry crust, this hearty dish is a true celebration of home-cooked goodness. Whether you’re hosting a cozy family dinner or simply craving a satisfying meal on a chilly evening, this steak pie is sure to warm your heart and tantalize your taste buds.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, finely diced
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Brown the Beef: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the beef stew meat with salt and pepper, then add it to the skillet in batches, browning on all sides. Transfer the browned beef to the slow cooker.
  2. Saute the Vegetables: In the same skillet, add the chopped onion, celery, and minced garlic. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the slow cooker.
  3. Combine Ingredients: To the slow cooker, add the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and dried oregano. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
  4. Cook: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the beef is tender and cooked through.
  5. Thicken the Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour with a bit of water to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the slow cooker, mixing well to combine. Cook for an additional 30 minutes on high, or until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Prepare the Pastry: Roll out the thawed puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut it into a circle slightly larger than the diameter of your slow cooker.
  7. Assemble the Pie: Carefully place the puff pastry over the top of the beef mixture in the slow cooker, tucking the edges down around the sides of the cooker. Brush the pastry with the egg white mixed with water for a golden finish.
  8. Finish Cooking: Cover the slow cooker with its lid slightly ajar or with a clean kitchen towel, to allow steam to escape. Cook on high for an additional 1 hour, or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed.
  9. Serve and Enjoy: Once the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling, carefully remove the slow cooker insert from the base and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Slice into wedges and serve hot, with a side of mashed potatoes or seasonal vegetables.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Frozen Vegetables: If you’re short on time, you can use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables instead of chopping fresh onion and celery. Simply add them to the slow cooker along with the beef.
  • Shortcrust Pastry: For a more traditional British-style pie, you can use shortcrust pastry instead of puff pastry. Roll out the pastry and line the bottom of the slow cooker before adding the beef filling and covering with another layer of pastry.
  • Beer or Red Wine: For added depth of flavor, you can deglaze the skillet used for browning the beef with a splash of beer or red wine before adding it to the slow cooker.
  • Herb Variations: Feel free to customize the herb selection based on your preferences. Rosemary or sage can be used in place of thyme for a different flavor profile.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: Can I make this pie ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the filling up to a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, roll out the pastry, assemble the pie, and cook according to the instructions.

Q: Can I freeze leftover pie? A: Absolutely! Leftover pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply wrap individual portions tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Q: Can I use a different type of meat? A: While beef stew meat is traditional for this recipe, you can certainly use other types of meat such as lamb or pork. Adjust the cooking time as needed based on the cut of meat used.

Q: How can I make this recipe keto-friendly? A: To make a keto-friendly version, omit the puff pastry and thicken the filling with a low-carb thickener such as xanthan gum or almond flour. Serve the beef mixture over cauliflower mash or sautéed greens instead.

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In conclusion, Slow Cooker Steak Pie is a testament to the beauty of simple, hearty cooking. With tender chunks of beef stewed in a flavorful gravy, all encased in a flaky pastry crust, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. Whether enjoyed for a cozy weeknight dinner or as the star of a special occasion meal, it’s a comforting and satisfying option that never fails to impress. So, gather your ingredients, fire up the slow cooker, and prepare to savor the deliciousness of this classic comfort food. Cheers to good food and cherished memories shared around the table!

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