Traditional British Meat and Potato Pie

Meat and potato pie is a British institution, my version remains pretty traditional and uses beef shin and two types of potato.

Portrait image of a slice of meat and potato pie served with garden peas on a white plate with the pie out of focus behind

Traditional Meat and Tater Pie Recipe.

Food memories really do evoke strong feelings in me and I am constantly cooking and revisiting the food of my childhood.

This recipe is just that, I would have eaten this everywhere from home to the school canteen and from the local chip shop through to St Andrews Football Ground!

It is the old fashioned food that has fallen out of favour. 

That is likely due to time, this recipe is not quick, but it is certainly not difficult.

I find that is the same pattern for many old recipes, they use very simple techniques, very cheap ingredients but do require time.

It is a pattern that you see in everything from a classic cottage pie through to my favourite faggots and peas!

I guess that is because, relatively speaking, we have become very much cash-rich and time-poor.

Portrait image of a meat and potato pie cooked in an enamel plate with a slice removed showing pie filling

The Ingredients.

The pretty non-descript name for this recipe underlines its roots. It would have contained whatever was available and cheap at the time. 

In many cases of cuts of meat that would have been for a Sunday roast and sometimes even leftovers.

I use beef shin, it is my favourite cheaper cut of beef at the moment and I use it all of the time!

The pastry is a shortcrust pastry, it is the same pastry use in a traditional Cornish Pasty.

I’m a self-confessed pastry dodger, I really dislike making pastry! But for some recipes I make an exception, this is one of them.

In all fairness with the help of a food processor, it is super easy.

Finally, we have potatoes, I always use two varieties that is because they have two purposes.

I use a floury potato to thicken the gravy, they are cut small and should break down. Then I add some larger cut waxy potatoes and these provide the bulk.

This recipe serves four because I love eating the leftovers from this cold for lunch the following day.

I will ordinarily serve a third for a single portion with lots of peas and then share the final third for lunch.

Overhead Portrait image of a golden pie crust on a plate pie

Techniques and Equipment.

As I mentioned above that the techniques employed in this meat and potato pie are really simple. But they do take time!

We can, however, manage that time and make this a mid-week meal.

You can, of course, buy shortcrust pastry from the store. I always make mine because I think it is better!

But it can be made in advance, it is fine in the fridge wrapped in cling film for a few days. You can even freeze it and defrost on ready for when you want to use it.

The same goes for the pie filling!

You can cook low and slow in a slow cooker or crockpot for 4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  

You could even cook in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot for 50-60 minutes.

Both will need the potatoes adding after a third of the cooking time.

Of course, I need to mention the plate, this is, after all, a plate pie!

I use a 22cm enamel plate from the dreaded Scandanavian furniture store that begins with “I”!

Meat and Potato Pie Recipe

Meat and Potato Pie Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

When it comes to comfort food it is hard to beat a pie, this classic British Meat and Potato Pie takes a while but it is a glorious simple slice of old fashioned cooking.

Ingredients

  • 350 g Stewing Beef
  • 125 g Onion
  • 50 g Carrot
  • 25 g Celery
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 50 ml Worcesertshire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 100 g Floury Potatoes
  • 150 g Waxy Potatoes
  • Salt to Taste
  • Black Pepper to Taste

For the Pastry

  • 300g Flour
  • 75 g Lard
  • 75 g Butter
  • 4-6 Tbsp Water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg

Instructions

  1. Cut the beef into a 2-3cm dice.
  2. Add the oil to a medium pan over a medium high heat.
  3. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper then fry in two batches to get a nice colour, then set aside.
  4. Slice the onion into half moon shapes and then cut the carrot into 1 cm thick rounds.
  5. Finely dice the celery.
  6. Return the pan to the heat but reduce to medium.
  7. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until the onions soften. 10 minutes or so!
  8. As the vegetables cook they will release liquid, use this to scrape the bottom of the pan and remove any crispy bits.
  9. Return the beef and any resting juices to the pan.
  10. Add the Worcestershire sauce and reduce by half.
  11. Pour in just enough water to cover the beef and add the bay leaf.
  12. Reduce the heat to low add a lid and allow to simmer for 90 minutes.
  13. Peel and cut the waxy potato into a 1cm dice and cut the waxy potatoes into a 2cm dice, do not peel these.
  14. Remove the lids and add these potatoes to the pan.
  15. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for another 30-35 minutes until the floury potatoes begin to break down and the waxy potatoes are cooked.
  16. Remove this stew from the heat and allow to cool completely!
  17. Whilst the pie filling is cooling add the flour, lard, butter and salt to a food mixer and pulse to create breadcrumbs. *See Note
  18. Transfer these breadcrumbs to a mixing bowl and add the water a little at a time whilst mixing with the back of a knife.
  19. You want to just bring the pastry together and not knead it.
  20. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge whilst the filling cools.
  21. When you are ready cut the pastry in half and roll out the first half to 2-3mm thick.
  22. Add this to the base of a 22-25cm pie plate.
  23. Roll out the second piece of pastry to the same thickness, maybe a little thicker.
  24. Add the cooled pie filling to the plate.
  25. Brush the edges of the bottom layer of pastry with beaten egg and add the top sheet of pastry.
  26. Work around the edges of the pie with a fork to seal.
  27. Brush the pie with more beaten egg and add some decoration of you want.
  28. Place in the oven and cook at 200°C or 400°F for 30-35 minutes.
  29. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

You can make the breadcrumbs by hand but work quickly as you do not want the fats to melt.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 769 Total Fat: 44g Saturated Fat: 19g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 21g Cholesterol: 123mg Sodium: 401mg Carbohydrates: 77g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 4g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 17g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Leave a comment