These are a doddle to make and delicious served with oven-baked potato wedges in place of the floppy, anaemic chips you usually get from the fish and chip shop.
Not only that, the pies actually have meat in them, instead of gristle and gravy.
This is the second in my occasional series offering home-made and edible versions of the fast food available on the High Street.
They don’t take much longer than standing in a queue in the chippy on a busy night and you’re less likely to be the victim of a drive-by shooting.
These little pies are a great way to use leftover rare beef from Sunday lunch but you could just as easily make them with good-quality steak mince.
Beef and Onion Pies
450g rare beef left over from the Sunday joint, chopped into small dice, or steak mince
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, diced
Any leftover beef gravy
1 glass of red wine
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp of tomato puree
Salt and pepper
A tspn or so of dried thyme
1 tbsp of plain flour
2 sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry
Egg wash or milk to glaze
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6 and put a baking sheet in to heat up.
Heat a good glug of oil in a deep frying pan. Add the onions and celery and fry until browning nicely. Add the garlic and fry a minute or two longer.
Add the beef and stir well. Add the flour and stir then cook for a minute.
Pour in a glass of red wine and stir well, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom.
Add the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce, the equivalent of a wineglassful of leftover gravy if you have it, or a little stock or water. Add the thyme and season well.
Cook until the flavours have amalgamated and it doesn’t taste floury. It should be very stiff, not runny.
Allow to cool while you prepare the potato wedges – scrub 1 medium potato per person and cut out any grotty bits.
Cut into chunky wedges, put them in a roasting tin and toss them with a good glug of olive or rapeseed oil and a good grinding of salt and pepper, spreading the potato wedges out into one layer.
Oil a deep muffin tray and cut out puff pastry circles big enough to fit the holes.
Put a tablespoon or so of the beef filling into each tin. Cut lids to fit and place them on top, slashing a cross so the steam can escape.
Glaze with beaten egg or milk and place in the oven on the hot baking sheet. Put the potato wedges alongside and cook both for 25-30 minutes.
You may need the swap the pies and potatoes between shelves to get them to cook properly, but start the pies off at the top to get the pastry to rise.
Serve with the veg of your choice. Mushy peas, anyone?