• 1kg beef chuck steak, cut into
• 4cm cubes
• 1/2 cup plain flour, seasoned
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 10 eschalots, peeled, halved
• 6 rashers rindless shortcut bacon, roughly chopped
• 250ml beef stock
• 500ml red wine
• 250g button mushrooms
• 2 fresh bay leaves
• 6 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
• Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 2 sheets frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, partially thawed
Preheat oven to 160°C. Put beef in a large bowl with flour, tossing to coat.
Heat half the oil in a large heavybased saucepan over medium heat. Add half the beef and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned all over. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with remaining oil and beef.
Put garlic, eschalots and bacon in same pan. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until bacon is golden. Return beef to pan with stock and wine, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, stir in mushrooms, bay leaves and thyme, then season. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
Increase oven to 200°C. Transfer mixture to a 6-cup capacity ovenproof dish, 20 x 28cm.
Brush edges of dish with a little egg. Put 1. puff pastry sheets in dish, overlapping slightly, and use fingertips to adhere pastry to dish. Brush top with a little of the remaining egg. Use cutters of your choice to create letters or shapes of your liking from remaining pastry. Arrange on top of pie and brush with remaining egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is golden.
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