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LJ’s Steak and Mushroom Pie from The Private Matter

LJ’s Steak and Mushroom Pie from The Private Matter

The Lord John Series

“Have you eaten, Johnny?” she asked, flipping the fan open again.

“No,” he said, suddenly recalling that he was starving.  “I hadn’t the chance.”

“Well, then.”  The Countess waved one of the footmen over, selected a small pie from his tray, and handed it to her son.  “Yes, I saw you talking to Lady Mumford.  Kind of you; the dear old thing dotes upon you.”

Dear old thing.  Lady Mumford was possibly the Countess’s senior by a year.  Grey mumbled a response, impeded by the pie.  It was steak with mushrooms, delectable in flaky pastry.

“Whatever were you talking to Joseph Trevelyan to intently about, though?” the Countess asked, raising her fan in farewell to the Misses Humber.  She turned to look at her son, and lifted one brow, then laughed.  “Why, you’ve gone quite red in the face, John — one might think Mr. Trevelyan had made you some indecent proposal!”

“Ha ha,” Grey said, thickly, and put the rest of the pie into his mouth.

Diana Gabaldon, Lord John and the Private Matter (Chapter 5 – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music)

Welcome to Lord John month on Outlander Kitchen!  Seeing as how LJ is constantly on the lookout for his one true Valentine, I thought February would be the perfect time to put my second favourite Englishman and his chow front and centre.

And while Herself goes to a great deal of trouble to describe some delectable food in his stories – like today’s steak and mushroom pies – LJ himself rarely sits down long enough to truly enjoy any of it.

When you consider the amazing amount of tasks he accomplishes and the number of problems he solves in just one of his short stories or novellas, Lord John is probably the most 21st Century of all the Outlander characters, although I do have high hopes for Jem (if he ever gets out of that tunnel).  Imagine what either of them could do with a smart phone in their hand and a drive-thru at their disposal.

ingredients steak and mushroom pie

My last couple of weeks have left me almost as busy as LJ.  A small accident in the kitchen here, an unexpected writing assignment there.  It doesn’t take much to put any of our already over-filled schedules over the edge these days, and this time it was my turn to juggle too many balls in too short a time.

Just like that, I found myself already behind, even though LJ month hadn’t even begun.

What shortcuts do you take when you’re short on time in the kitchen?  One of my cheats, from time to time, is a store-bought frozen pie crust.  After all, if you get the filling right, the pastry slides on by without too much notice.  I used a combination of frozen tart shells (in keeping with the small-sized pie that the Countess gave to LJ) and puff pastry, but you can also  make one big pie with two deep-dish pie shells, or, easiest of all, bake the filling in ceramic ramekins with puff pastry tops.

And if you prefer to make your pastry?  Kudos to you!  Check the notes below the recipe for links to recipes from previous pies and pastries.

steak and mushroom pie

A good steak and mushroom pie starts with sirloin, a thick, dark beer and the fungus of your choice.

In this case, as chocolate and beef are a classic combination in more than one food culture, I selected a Chocolate Porter from a local craft brewery.  Check what dark porters or stouts are available in your area.  The best place to find a new, interesting beer (or bottle of wine, for that matter) is at a small, independent liquor store.  You might pay a little more, but the service is generally excellent, with knowledgeable staff who can point you in the right direction when it comes to food pairings.  In lieu of that, a Guinness is always a good choice.

To avoid over complicating things, I chose plain old button mushrooms, but shitake, oyster, porcini or morels would all be fabulous, and would lend your pies their very own distinctive personalities.

steak and mushroom pie

(Click on the link below for a printable version of the recipe.)

LJ’s Steak & Mushroom Pie from The Private Matter

: A rich and delicious, hearty, homemade filling in store-bought frozen pastry.  A perfect compromise for the busy, multi-tasking cook.

Makes (1) 9” pie, or (4 to 6) individual ramekins

Filling:

  • Sirloin Steaks, ½-1” cubes – 1½ lbs (700 g)
  • Salt – 1½ tsp (8 ml)
  • Dry Mustard – 1 tsp (5 ml)
  • Pepper – ½ tsp (3 ml)
  • Bacon, diced – 2 slices
  • Vegetable Oil – 2-4 Tble (30-60 ml)
  • Onion, diced – 1 medium
  • Button Mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and sliced – ½ lb (225 g)
  • Garlic, minced – 2 cloves
  • Flour – ¼ Cup (60 ml)
  • Dark Beer (Chocolate Porter or Stout) – 12 fl oz (355 ml)
  • Worcestershire Sauce – 1 Tble (15 ml)
  • Beef or Chicken Stock or Water – 2 Cups (500 ml)
  • Dried Thyme – 1 tsp (5 ml)
  • Bay Leaf – 1

Pastry:

  • Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed – 1 pkg

or

  • Frozen Deep Dish 9” (23 cm) Pie Shells, thawed – 2

or

  • Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed – 1 pkg

Egg-wash:

  • (1 ) Egg beaten with 1 tsp milk

Read the recipe through at least once before you begin.

Toss the cubed steak with the salt, mustard powder and pepper.  Set aside.

Crisp the bacon over medium heat, careful not to overbrown.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a small plate.  Add enough vegetable oil to the pan to make 2 tablespoons of fat.

Brown the beef in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan), about 5 minutes.  Set the beef aside, add another 2 tablespoons of oil as well as the onions and mushrooms to the pan and saute until soft and translucent, another 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Deglaze the pan with the beer and Worcestershire sauce, stirring well.  Add the stock or water, reserved beef and bacon, thyme and bay leaf.  Stir well, and bring to the boil.

Reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook until the beef is tender and the gravy shiny and thick, about 1 hour.  Season to taste, then remove from the heat and cool slightly while you prepare the pastry.

Move the rack to the centre position and preheat the oven to 400° F (205° C).

For a pie: set one shell on a baking pan lined with parchment.  Fill generously, brush the edges with egg wash, then remove the second shell from its foil and lay it over the top.  Crimp the top to the bottom using a fork.

Brush the top with egg wash and use a sharp knife to poke 2 or 3 small holes in the top of the pie.  Bake until golden, 35-40 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving.

For individual ramekins:  arrange oven-proof ramekins on a baking pan lined with parchment.  Fill the ramekins to the top.  Roll out puff pastry to about ⅛” thick and, with a SHARP knife, cut squares large enough to cover.

Lay the puff pastry tops across the filled ramekins, press gently to adhere, then brush the tops with egg wash and use a sharp knife to poke a small hole in the top of each.  Bake until golden, 30-35 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving.

Ith gu leòir! (Eat Plenty)

 

46 Comments

  1. Aaron Brown
    February 7, 2013 at 7:04 am

    these look divine!! adding this to my ever growing list of OK recipes to try.

    • Theresa
      February 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      Good news, Aaron!

  2. Anne
    February 7, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I’m excited for Lord John month! These pies look wonderful with the puff pastry tops especially, yum!

    • Theresa
      February 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      I’m glad you like the looks of them, Anne! Those are the easiest to put together too.

  3. Tiffany
    February 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I know what I’m making for dinner next week…

    • Theresa
      February 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      I made a double batch of the filling, so I know what we’re having next week too! LOL

    • Tiffany
      February 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Made it tonight and it’s a hit! Had to tweak a few things (couldn’t find chocolate beer and forgot to add the flour. Thankfully I have roux frozen for when I do something silly like that). I also added carrots and peas to it. My inner Clair needed more veggies in it. ^_^

    • Theresa
      February 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

      Claire would be proud of you for standing up for vitamins! Glad you liked the recipe. 😀

  4. mushroomscanada
    February 8, 2013 at 7:20 am

    This is the perfect meal for a chilly day like today. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it will be a hit!!

    -Shannon

    • Theresa
      February 8, 2013 at 11:00 am

      So says the mushroom lady! Awesome! 😀

  5. Lynn
    February 8, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Hmmm….too much for two folks….would you suggest freezing the pies before or after they are cooked?

    • Theresa
      February 8, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Freeze the filling…I actually doubled the recipe then froze half of it the last time I made it, Lynn. Makes for a super easy supper down the road!

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

      Thanks for the suggestion……

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

      and if I don’t want the crust….this would be good over noodles…..

    • Theresa
      February 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      oh yeah!

  6. Mary Lou
    February 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I am excited for LJG month too, they are always describing things they eat in London, some of it I would be curious to learn about so this will be a way to learn. Although the Jellied Eel pie really does not sound good to me. And not that I have never eaten eel because I have, I think it is the jellied part that makes me suspicious. Although my guess is that it is a preservation method. See that I have just talked myself into wanting to know. Eating well we will see.

  7. ruatimetraveler2
    March 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    OMG This look so so GOOD! I have to make it!

  8. Vickie Gentry
    March 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    OMG This looks GOOD!

  9. Tddavis
    July 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Do you add the bacon back in to the mixture?

    • Theresa
      July 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Yes! Oops…thanks for pointing out my omission. I have corrected the recipe.

  10. Jessica
    August 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I was wondering if it would be possible to sub out the beer with beef broth? I’d love to try this, but we’re a no-alcohol house! 🙂

    • Theresa
      August 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      Yes, that will work just fine!

    • Jessica
      August 13, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks!

  11. Danielle Peters
    August 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I’m trying this for the first time tonight along with Banoffee Pie for dessert. Can’t wait to taste it…my house smells amazing.

    • Theresa
      August 22, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      Ooh! I love that pie! Enjoy.

  12. Tammy
    September 3, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you for the great looking recipes! I can’t wait to try the Steak and Mushroom Pie.

  13. Mindy
    September 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight. Not only was it excedingly delicious, but the way it cooks in stages, allowed me to clean everything up while it cooked. And now that dinner is over, I only have a few forks to wash. (Aluminum pot pie pans helps lol!) I will be making extra large batches of this in the future. So good 🙂 Thank you!!

  14. Twyla
    September 7, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve made this before, so I knew it was insanely good. Last weekend, I made a double batch in preparation for a dinner party last night; had enough extra to make a 9-inch pie-plate-full, which my hubby and I ate in one sitting!! So good. And it was a Big Hit at the dinner party! Thanks for all these great recipes, Theresa. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to start a new batch of Cherry Bounce…. 🙂

  15. Annie G
    October 8, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I just read LJ and the Private Matter for the first time last week, and I wanted a savory meat (or even eel) pie the whole time I was reading it. Thank you, Theresa, for running Outlander Kitchen! I knew you’d have a recipe for the meat pies.

  16. Randi S.
    October 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I made this dish tonight, since it’s rainy & generally yucky out… And WOW! It is so absolutely delicious! I added some carrots and peas, and also substituted a shallot for the onion. In my prep, I discovered that I had no dry mustard or a bay leaf, so I ended up using a spice blend that had them along with the thyme and some coriander. So another small substitution, but this will be my go-to meat pie. Thanks so much for your hard work in putting these recipes together and for sharing them!

  17. Amy Pitard
    January 15, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    This is in the oven tonight, it smells wonderful!! Can’t wait to enjoy! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes.

  18. Joanne
    January 27, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I made this wonderful pie for our Burns Supper at the weekend. I doubled the quantity to serve 17! I slow cooked for meat and sauce for 8 hours the day before serving. I also used maple flavoured, hickory smoked thick bacon and duck fat instead of vegetable oil. It was AMAZING! The sweetness of the maple bacon fat, the chocolate stout flavour and the sweeter meat of the chuck steak combined with the slow cooking and being left to develop over night created the perfect dish! I’m SO pleased I found your recipe and I can wait to try more! Thank you!

    • Theresa
      February 1, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      I’m so glad it worked out, Joanne! Your changes sound mouthwatering. 🙂

  19. Ash
    February 26, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Hi Theresa,

    I’m making this for my Papa’s birthday family dinner on Sunday. Do you think I could assemble it all today to just before putting the whole pie in the oven and then freeze it? Take it out on Sunday morning and fire it into the oven to bake? Looks delicious! Thanks!

    Ashley

    • Theresa
      March 1, 2015 at 7:19 am

      I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to respond until now, Ashley! Your plan sounds good to me. In fact, I might not have even bothered to freeze it, as there was only a couple of days until dinner…I would pull it out of the fridge, top with pastry, and bake.

      Please let me know how yours turned out!

  20. Kate
    March 26, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Sadly, my boyfriend abhors mushrooms (I don’t get it, either). Could I sub potatoes, or do you have another suggestion that I could put in place of the mushrooms? I’m trying to think of a veg that will contribute to the overall meatiness of the flavor that the mushrooms probably enhance. I love the beef and dark beer bit! Thanks!

    • Theresa
      March 27, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Potatoes would work,as would any root veg like carrots, turnip, etc. Enjoy!

  21. JoEllen Schupmann
    May 16, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Looks amazing, truly.

  22. Carol Mackey
    November 2, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    This might well turn out to be a family collaboration. Posted the recipe on our Family page and got enthusiastic responses! A son has Colorad deer venison in his freezer; a granddaughter, Colorado elk venison. Negotiating with them–will use sirloin if necessary. The rest of the ingredients to be collected between another son and myself (all four of my guys cook, and verra well). I chose Harp beer, a salute to the other half of our ancestry, since this is pretty much a Scots rendering. The game is a nod to the 18th century. Thank you for reposting this recipe! Alba Gu Brath!!

    • Theresa
      November 4, 2015 at 5:35 am

      I hope everyone who contributes gets a taste! Sounds like a ton of fun

  23. Jodi T
    November 16, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Oh so I started this last night and baking into a pie tonight! Smells devine! I love beef, beer and mushrooms!

  24. Rachel
    December 15, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I want to give these as the mini pies for Christmas. Are these freezable? I was going to top them with puff pastry.

    This by the way is probably one of the most delicous things I have ever eaten.

    • Theresa
      December 15, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      What a great gift! Yes — very freezable. Top them with the puff pastry, brush with the egg wash, freeze, then wrap tightly. Advise recipients to thaw in the fridge over night before cooking.

    • Jodi T
      December 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Brilliant gifts!

  25. Dawn
    February 27, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    I have made this recipe several times for my family , however I can’t eat it the way it is..so I tried a little change or two. I can’t eat flour, so I used arrow root flour, I am allergic to hops, so I first made it with wisky I had on hand. YUM. This time I served it over mashed potatoes and used cream sherry. It was excellent. Thank you for a versitile recipe.

    • Theresa
      February 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      I’m glad you like it, Dawn!

Comments are closed.