The Best That Money Can Pie

It’s National Pie Week this week (2-8 March 2020), the week of celebrating that hearty, full flavour, warming little package of promise that is, the humble pie. 

So, there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to introduce you to Chapelton Farmers Market’s newest addition! Aberdeenshire’s own Breer Pie Co. is making their debut at this year’s first Farmers Market in May.

Breer Pie Co. know that nothing quite matches the full flavour and hearty warmth of a home-cooked pie – so theirs are prepared, crafted and cooked at their family home in Blackburn, Aberdeenshire.

Breer’s individual gourmet pies use freshly prepared cuts of meat from local producers wrapped up in their signature wheatberry crust pastry.  Visitors to the market should expect ‘pies brimming with goodness, down to the last crumb.’ 

Thankfully you don’t have to wait until the market to fulfil your pie cravings! We got together with Jodie and Dale Barbour, the local siblings behind the magic, to get a recipe that you can make at home and to hear how it all began.

 “It all started over a flat white and pancakes one Sunday at a cafe in Aberdeen” Jodie says. 

“For years, we had toyed with the idea of starting a business.  After every family event, whether it be an extravagant burns supper with the most delicious whisky sauce for our sisters birthday or a mother’s day afternoon tea with handmade cakes and pastries there would always be talk about some kind of foodie business.

Like so many, we just never did anything about it.  So, that Sunday after leaving the café we decided we had better stop thinking about it, listen to our gut and just get on with it. 

With all the planning, recipe testing and pastry eating that has gone before us, we can’t wait to finally launch in May at the Chapelton Farmers’ Market.  It couldn’t be a better fit! 

While I worked at Elsick House, I was involved in several events held at Chapelton including the Bike Ride, 10km, Christmas Wreath making and Chocolate making workshop with Cocoa Ooze.  I love the sense of community that’s building as a result of these great events and look forward to being part of it once again.’

If you want in on the pie action this week, check out this recipe for 4-6 from Breer Pie Co. Remember, beauty is in the pie of the beholder, so tweak to suit your own taste.  Even if you’re not too fussed about a pie this week, it’s still worth checking out point 6!

Beef Bourguignon – Easy as Pie

Ingredients for filling

  • 1kg Beef Brisket, diced 1”
  • 250g Smoked bacon lardons
  • 250g Shallots, peeled
  • 250g Chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 750ml Red Wine (Preferably Burgundy)
  • 200ml Beef stock
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Plain flour
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable oil

Ingredients for pastry

  • 125g butter
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tbsp of cold water
  • 2tbsp flour for dusting
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Black Mustard seeds (optional)
  • Seasoning

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (fan assisted) 
  2. Roll the diced beef in 1tbsp of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large deep pan (a casserole pan with high sides and a lid is ideal) and brown the meat all over in batches.  The hob should med-high to get a good caramelisation. 

    Tip: It’s the caramelisation of the surface sugars that creates the rich brown colour and flavour, which will give your gravy a lovely rich colour and taste.  To get the best caramelisation, make sure you brown the meat in small batches before transferring to a plate.  Too much meat will overcrowd the pan and cause the temperature to drop, which stops the browning that we want!  When all your meat is browned….

  4. Fry the shallots and garlic in the same pan until soft. 
  5. Add the tomato puree and cook out for a few minutes before adding the red wine and beef stock. 
  6. Pour yourself a lovely glass of red.  Chef’s perk! 
  7. Bring to the boil then return the beef to the pan along with the thyme and any resting juices from the plate your beef was resting on.  
  8. Cover the pan with a lid and pop in the pre-heated oven.  Braise for 2 hours (or more) until the meat falls apart when pressed lightly with a fork.    
  9. While the beef is cooking, you can prepare the delicious buttery pastry.  Sift the flour and salt into a bowl or food processor.  Cut the butter into cubes then add to the bowl or food processor
  10. If using a processor pulse until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.  If using a bowl, use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.  
  11. Add the water then mix until a dough forms.  Wrap in cling film then rest in the fridge. 
  12. After the beef has cooked for 2 hours, angle the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes to reduce and thicken the rich coloured gravy.
  13. While the gravy is thickening, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the bacon and mushrooms until golden brown, then set aside to cool
  14. Remove the beef from the oven and set aside to cool
  15. Increase the oven to 190 degrees Celsius in preparation for cooking the pastry 
  16. Fill your pie dish with the prepared beef filling then sprinkle the mushroom and bacon garnish on top
  17. Dust a surface with the remaining flour and roll out the pastry from the fridge to the thickness of a pound coin
  18. Brush the edge of the pie dish with beaten egg then drape the pastry over, lifting with a rolling pin to prevent the pastry tearing.  
  19. Trim and crimp the pastry before brushing the surface with a beaten egg
  20. As an optional extra sprinkle black mustard seeds over the top
  21. Make a hole in the pastry to allow steam to escape then bake at 190 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  22. Serve with lovely fresh greens (kale, broccoli, spinach) and some comforting buttery mash. 

The freshly milled flour Breer Pie Co. use in their own signature pastry will be available at Chapelton Farmers’ Market in May. Be sure to drop by and pick up a sample to try in your own homemade pies! 

To find out more about Breer Pie Co, visit their website at www.breerpie.co.uk.  You can keep up to date on progress over the next 3 months as they prepare to launch by following them on Facebook and Instagram @breerpieco 

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