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Oxtail and stilton pie

By April 16, 2021 ,

Oxtail stew is one of my favourites, it has a rich deep flavour. I like to make a large batch of the stew just so I can make these pies. Beef and blue cheese work really well together,  it just adds another layer of indulgence to the dish. This recipe makes enough for two six inch pie dishes. I've used beef suet and butter in the pastry but if you cannot get hold of the suet then using all butter will be fine. 

Oxtail stew filling
700g oxtail
1 onion finely chopped
1 celery stick finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
10g tomato puree
200ml red wine
200ml beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown off the oxtail in a heavy bottom casserole pot (or Dutch oven) on a medium heat and render down the fat
Remove to one side and keep the fat that has rendered down in the pan
Lowering the heat, fry the onion, celery and carrot in the beef fat until soft, strain off the excess fat
Add the tomato puree and cook out for 1-2 mins
Add the wine and beef stock and stir through
Place in the oxtail and the herbs in the pan 
Cook on a very low heat on the hob or in a low oven at 120c (fan), 130c (normal) for 3 hours
For those of you cooking on the BBQ, set the BBQ for indirect heat, 130c and cook for 3 hours
Allow the stew to cool slightly before removing the oxtail and pick the meat off the bones, it should come off relatively easily
Strain the casserole juices into a bowl and put the vegetables to one side
Place the bowl with the juices in a freezer and after a couple of hours you will be able to remove the fat that has risen to the top as it will have solidified
Place the juices and meat back into the casserole pot with the vegetables and stir through
Season with salt and pepper

170g plain white flour
40g butter
45g beef suet grated
45ml iced water
Pinch salt
Beaten egg yolk or milk to glaze the pastry

Rub the butter and flour together until it resembles breadcrumbs
Add the water and bring the mixture together until it forms a stiff dough
(this can also be made in a food processor, simply whizz the flour and butter mix until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the water until it comes together)
Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour to rest
Once the pastry has rested then roll out to 2mm thick
Next get your pie dish and cut out the pastry using the pie dish as a guideline, ensure you have excess pastry around the edges
Next cut out rounds for the top of the pie, again using the pie dish as a guideline
Then take the cut out pastry and press into the pie dish making sure there are no air bubbles, pushing the pastry into all the corners
You can trim any excess pastry from the edges of the pie dish using a knife if need be
Place the dish and the pastry tops back in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes

400g oxtail stew filling
100g stilton cheese cut into cubes

Preheat your oven to 190c (fan), 200c(normal)
Place a baking sheet on the middle shelf

To finish the pies
Place a layer of stew filling on the base of each pie, then a layer of cheese
Continue with the layering until the pie has been filled to the top
Wet the edges of the pie and place the pastry lid on top
Push the edges of the top and bottom together to ensure it is sealed 
Cut a small hole in the centre of the top to allow steam to escape
Brush the top with egg wash of milk 
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the filling reaches at least 75c

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