Some of you may well remember this handsome beast of a pie. During lockdown, we sold it as a DIY kit, having prepared and precooked the constituent parts, so that customers could easily assemble at home.
It was very popular and it fairly flew out the door at the time - which was pretty impressive for a pastry-based construction, laden with delicious beef and marrow.
So we thought we should resurrect the recipe for you, in honour of British Pie Week.
We’ve tweaked it a touch with regards to the oxtail, as the original recipe called for that to be diced too. But trimming the meat from the bone is a notoriously tricky exercise, even for us butchers. However, cooking the oxtail on the bone with the cheek and chuck does all lend towards building that extra flavour.
And it’s a great excuse to use your fingers (and lick them afterwards).
Ingredients - Serves 4
600g oxtail pieces
400g ox cheek, diced into 3 cms
400g chuck steak, diced into 3 cms
200g onions, diced into 2cms
200g carrots, diced into 2cms
500ml T&G Beef Bones Gravy
Dripping, for greasing
100g button mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
15g plain flour
Suet crust - for the pastry base
350g self-raising flour
150g shredded vegetable suet
150 ml ice cold water
2g fine sea salt
Rough puff - for the pastry top
300g unsalted butter
325g strong plain flour
150ml ice cold water
5g fine sea salt
7cm bone marrow shaft, to act as a pie chimney.
Heat your oven to 160°C and place a casserole pot (that comes with a lid) over a medium heat on the hob. Add the dripping and fry the oxtail, diced meat, then the carrots, onions and mushrooms until browned and season with salt and pepper. Add the Beef Bones gravy and stir through before popping the lid on the casserole and put it in the oven to braise gently for three hours.
To make the suet crust base, put the self-raising flour, suet and a couple of pinches of salt into a bowl and use your fingers to mix together. Once the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add roughly 150ml of ice cold water to bring it together until you have a soft dough. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge.
To make the rough puff top, put the plain flour and salt into a bowl and dice the butter. Rub together to mix but there should still be small lumps of butter. Pour in the cold water and mix to combine to a firm dough, do not over mix. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge.
Remove the cooked pie filling from the oven after three hours and drain off 200ml of the gravy and put to one side. Allow the remaining cooked mixture to cool completely and then pick out the oxtail, pulling the meat off the bones to add back to the mix.
Turn out the puff pastry onto a floured board and roll out into a square, there should be small streaks of butter running through the pastry, this is needed. Fold the right hand third half way into the middle and repeat with the remaining left hand side, roll out again and repeat the folding process. Cover with cling film and return to the fridge for half an hour.
Dust a clean surface with flour and roll out the suet crust dough so it’s about 1 cm thick. Line your pie dish, push and pat it in, letting a couple of centimetres hang over the edge. Place the bone marrow shaft ‘chimney’ into the centre of the pastry.
Press the now cool pie mixture into the lined pie dishes around the bone marrow. Roll out the rough puff pastry until about 1 cm thick and cut in half to make two lids. Egg wash the suet crust overhang and place one layer of puff pastry on top of the filling making a small hole to let the bone marrow chimney through one.
Egg wash the pie top and trim the edges with a small knife to seal and cook for one hour at 180°C.
When ready, carefully pull out the pie and allow it to sit for ten minutes before serving with some creamy mash, greens and the remaining gravy.