This month I was asked to be in the YouTube collaboration “The Pies of March” #thepiesofmarch2023.
A fantastic collaboration which gave me the opportunity to try a recipe I wanted to try making for years that I remember from my childhood. My Aunty Susan used to make very traditional British food. This recipe is one that seems to be localised to Wales and honestly I’m not mad about that. It gives me the opportunity to figure out how to make it and honestly I believe I have done exactly that.
I did look for a little help online and the closest I could find was “Merthyr Pie” but it was slightly different to what I remember and so I made it my way and in a way that I am absolutely sure my Aunt would’ve approved of. She was always up for anything that gave her an easier life.
Aunty Susan’s Supper Pie Recipe
1Kg Beef Shin off the bone or 1.5Kg on the bone
4 Carrots, halved lengthwise and then cut into 3-4 inch lengths
2 Medium Onions, Quartered
4 Celery Sticks, cut into 3-4 inch lengths
1 Garlic Bulb, cut in half, across the middle
3-4 Bay Leaves
Either 1/2 cup of Plain Flour or 1 Cup of Gravy Granules
300g Beef Dripping
6-8 Thick Slices of Day Old Bread. (depends on the size of your pan and bread)
2-4 Tablespoons Dijon, French or English Mustard (depending on your personal taste I have used wholegrain since making this the first time)
300g Mature Cheddar Cheese, grated.
Oven 140C/ Gas Mark 1 / 280f – or use your Slow Cooker
Pop your beef in a casserole dish or cast iron pot or slow cooker with the veg and herbs.
Add enough water to be 3/4’s of the way up the dish.
If using the oven, place baking paper over the top of the ingredients in the pot then add the lid. This isn’t necessary for the slow cooker.
(If using the slow cooker be ready to keep an eye on the water level I had to replace water every hour or so to make sure it didn’t dry out as I cooked it on high. )
Place in Oven or place slow cooker on high for 5-6 hours.
When cooked the beef should fall apart but be quite firm as well.
Pull the beef and veg out seperately from the liquid and leave to the side.
Continue to cook the liquid either in the slow cooker or in the pot on the stove until it is a third of what it was.
Add a little of the thickener to make a slightly thickened gravy. Keep aside.
Heat 1/3 of the dripping in a large frypan and fry some of the bread on both sides until golden but still soft in the middle.
Repeat with rest of bread.
Spread the bread with the mustard. (I only do this on the middle layer, I find it is too much otherwise and can take over)
Flake the beef roughly, discard the bones if you need to and cut up the veg into bite sized pieces. Squeeze out the garlic if you wish.
Oven 180C /320f /Gas Mark 5 if cooking from cold oven, Gas Mark 4 if preheating the oven
1/3 Bread on base of dish
1/2 Beef and Veg
1/2 Beef and Veg
Last of Bread
Last of Cheese
Season well after each beef layer
Carefully ladle over 200-250ml of reserved slightly thickened stock.
Bread should be wet without being sopping and falling apart.
Bake for 15-25 minutes
Until cheese is melted and golden
Leave to stand 5 minutes
Serve with Seasonal Veg.