Acclaimed chef Scott Pickett may own some of Melbourne’s most acclaimed diners, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy some good honest tucker. Pickett is the man behind Saint Crispin (soon to be the Broadsheet Kitchen), Matilda, the now-closed ESP and Estelle Bistro, the Northcote favourite that serves this cracking beef pie. Serve it up on AFL Grand Final Day next to some sauso rolls and fill your guests with some hot, winning spirit. If only someone had given Dustin Martin a slice last weekend.
"Meat pies are an Australian classic. When you think of the footy, you think of a meat pie, that's just how it is,” says Pickett. “This twist on a beef-cheek meat pie is an adaptation of a crowd favourite, so you really can’t go wrong."
You’ll need to start this recipe a day ahead of time so the meat a veggies can marinate in red wine for long enough.
Estelle Bistro’s beef cheek, mushroom and green peppercorn pie
6 beef cheeks
2 sticks of celery
1 bunch of thyme
4 brown onions
5 bay leaves
1 head of garlic
1.5L red wine
20 black peppercorns
200g plain flour
1.5L chicken stock
½ tsp of fine salt
125g cold, diced butter
80ml cold water
1 egg yolk for the egg wash
1 whole egg for the egg wash
1kg Swiss brown mushroom
10g green peppercorns
Remove excess fat from the beef cheek. Peel and cut the vegetables into 2cm cubes.
Marinate the beef cheek and vegies in the red wine for at least a day.
Preheat the oven to 120°C. Strain the marinade and set aside the liquid. Separate the meat from the vegetables and dry the beef cheek.
Heat up a wide pot with some vegetable oil and seal the cheeks so they have a nice caramelised colour on both sides. Remove the cheeks and add the vegetables, cook for 3 minutes and add the flour, then cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the wine from the marinade and reduce by two-thirds, then add the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
Transfer the beef and vegetable mixture into a baking dish and add the bunch of thyme, then pour the cooking liquid over. Wrap the tray with tin foil and cook for 3–4 hours in the oven, until the meat is soft and tender.
Remove the mixture from the oven and let it rest for 1 hour, then strain the liquid and reduce it to a thick consistency.
For the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Add the butter and mix until crumbly, then add the cold water. Knead the dough for 4 minutes, then let it rest for 2 hours.
Next, clean the mushrooms and cut them into quarters. Heat up a pan with oil and sauté them for 5 minutes, then add the green peppercorns, thyme and garlic.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Roll some of the dough to about 5mm thick and lay enough of it to line a 22cm round greased pie dish. Save the remaining dough for the pie top.
Fill the pie with the pulled beef cheek, mushrooms. Add just enough of the reduced cooking liquid to cover the filling.
Roll the remaining pastry to cover the pie and use a fork to seal the edges, then brush with the egg wash.
Bake the pie for 20–25 minutes or until the pastry is golden.