Recipes, Insight, Theory and Every Day Management for Students, Ships Cooks, and those with an interest in Marine Catering Operations.
Steak Pie is always a firm favourite with crews, my Steak Pie Recipe is basic and down to earth, but what it may lack in culinary flair it more than makes up for in flavour and texture, chunks of tender steak in a rich gravy encased in a light melt in your mouth short crust pastry. The steak filling here is made from my left over Braised Steak Recipe, I say left over, but the truth is I always make sufficnt Braied Steak to have some over for these pies.
For me a pie it has to be a plate pie sometimes referred to a double crust pie. I never like to see meat filling put into a gastronome tray with layer of pastry on the top described as a pie, to me that is stew with a pastry lid on..! It looks institutional. The filling of a steak pie should be lean chunks of meat in a rich gravy, however it is possible to add a primary vegetable to the pie, eg Onion for a Steak and Onion pie or Mushrooms for a Steak and Mushroom pie. Homemade pies are economical to produce.
Form many years I used 20cm disposable foil pie plates, but often I would find myself in a port or country where it was not possible to buy these foil plates, and there where occasions when the vessel had no suitable pie plates, in this recipe I demonstrate the best alternative: A Dinner Plate...!
A dinner plate is perfect, a good conductor of heat, and because of the ceramic glaze non-stick.
Short PastrySee Short Pastry Recipe;- https://www.shipscookbook.com/recipe/short-pastry/
Choose some suitable plates, I like to use disposable foil Pie Plates or a suitable pie tin, however on some vessels you may not have suitable pie plates, if these are not available I use just plain dinner plates. Ceramic dinner plates do have some advantages, when greased with a little shortening they are relatively none stick, and secondly they are great conductors of heat, thereby gives great cooking qualities to the base of the pie. the down side is care must be taken not to place a hot pie on a cold surface as the plate may crack
Take a ball of Short pastry sufficient to roll big enough to line your pie plate.
Roll out the pastry and check it is big enough to fit the plate by placing the plate on top of the pastry.
Roll the pastry back over the rolling pin so you can pick it up to line your pie plates by rolling the pastry over the plate.
Pick the plate up and trim the edge with a knife.
Take your cold braised steal from the fridge and break any large pieces of steak to smaller bite size chunks, I break the meat rather than cut it as I don't want the meat to look like diced squares I want to see meaty irregular chunks of steak.
Fill your pie base with a generous amount of your cold pie filling.
Roll out a pastry lid for your pie, but before wrapping around your rolling pin to lift up, use a 3cm fluted cutter to make a hole in the center of the pastry this will allow steam to escape during cooking and prevent the pie bursting.
Using a pastry brush wet the edge of your pie.
Carefully roll your oversized pastry lid over the top of your pie.
Trim the pastry to size
Crimp the edges
Place your pies on shallow baking trays and place it the oven set150°C without egg washing and set the timer for 45 minutes, this is approximately half the cooking time and it is just so as to check on the baking process as the pie is likely to need a further 30 minutes at this stage.
If your happy with the progress after 45 minutes continue baking at 150 C until the core temperature of the filling reaches a a minimum of 75 degrees C when tested with a temperature probe, at this stage you can remove the pies from the oven closing the oven door to maintain the oven temperature as in a few moments we will return our pies to the oven.
You will notice that your pies look dull and dry, this was done on purpose, as if you egg wash the pies before placing in the oven it is guaranteed the pies will over brown before the pastry is baked and before the core temperature of the pie has reached 75C
Now egg wash each pie, this first coat of egg wash will soak into the hot pastry, when you have egg washed the last pie, return to the first pie you egg washed and give your pie a second coat, you will see immediately that the pie starts to glaze and shine. when you have glazed all the pies returning them to the oven for 5 minutes watch the colour reach the degree of colour you require, this is the perfect competition finish to your pie.
Normally I cut these plate pies into 6 portions, but look at the way I have cut this pie, I know that some of the crew like a large slice of pie and some like a smaller slice. So I cut the pie in half, and one half is cut into 3 and the other half is cut into 4, Of course you cut your pie into the number of portions you require, but I do this because I know the men I sail with and I know how they like things, you too must cater to the needs of your crew, they are your customers. The pie looks a different colour due to the infer red lights over the bain-marie.