Beef, Swede and Barley Pie Recipe

A hearty beef pie that can be prepared ahead and pulled out of the freezer when it's needed – the perfect Christmas meal for all the family.
Serves 6 - 15 mins to prepare and 3 hrs 00 mins to cook - 488 calories / serving - Freezable


1 tbsp olive oil
400g diced beef
3 tbsp plain flour
1 large carrot, scrubbed and cut into small chunks
1 onion, roughly chopped
500g swede, peeled and cut into small chunks
700ml beef stock, made with 1 stock cube
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
100g pearl barley, rinsed
375g pack ready-rolled light puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
220g pack green beans, steamed

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Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Toss the beef with 2 tbsp flour and season. Fry in batches for 5 mins or until browned all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Fry the carrot, onion and swede in the same pan for 10 mins or until starting to colour. Return the beef to the pan. In a small bowl, gradually mix 50ml of the stock into the remaining flour, until combined. Add to the pan along with the remaining stock, the bay leaf and thyme. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer on a low heat for 1 hr.
Add the barley, cover again and simmer for 1 hr or until the meat is tender and the barley is just cooked. Tip into a 24cm round pie dish, discarding the bay and thyme. Leave to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C.
Unroll the puff pastry, discarding the paper. Roll out until large enough to cover the pie dish, if needed. Crimp the edges and use a knife to make a cross in the centre. Re-roll any leftover pastry to make a decorative shape, if you like, then put on top of the pie. Brush all over with the beaten egg, then bake for 45 mins until golden and puffed up. Leave to rest for 10 mins. Serve with the green beans.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

To freeze, prepare to the end of step 3, then leave the filling to cool completely. Cover with the pastry, without brushing with egg, then wrap in nonstick baking paper and foil. To reheat, remove from the freezer, unwrap and defrost in the fridge overnight. Brush with egg and bake as instructed in the recipe. Once reheated from frozen, eat on the same day – do not reheat a second time.
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