With two chillies, this spicy beef pie is full-grunt, so feel free to use one if you like less heat with your melt-in-the-mouth beef.
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
400 grams mix of Swiss brown and shiitake mushrooms
1.2 kilograms beef cheek,cut into 5cm pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1-2 sliced red chillies, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon five spice
¼ cup each oyster sauce, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce
finely grated zest 1 orange
2 whole star anise
1¼ cups beef stock
sea salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons plain flour
400 grams ready-rolled flaky butter pastry
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon cream
1-2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
Equipment: Spray the base of a 22cm pie dish very lightly with cooking oil spray and brush to coat the sides.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large ovenproof casserole and add the onion and mushrooms. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to a bowl. Add more oil to the pan and brown the meat in batches, removing to a plate as it’s done.
Return the vegetables to the pan and stir in the garlic, ginger, chillies, five spice, oyster, soy and sweet chilli sauces and bring to the boil, scraping the base of the pan to release any sticky bits. Add the orange zest, star anise and beef stock and return the meat and any juices to the pan and combine. Season. Cover the mix with a sheet of baking paper then cook over a low heat (just bubbling) for 2 hours. Remove the baking paper and continue cooking for another 2 hours. Spoon out 1 cup of sauce (no meat) and whisk with the flour, then return to the pot. Cook a further 30 minutes until the meat is very tender and the sauce is thickened. Cool completely before assembling the pie.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.
Cut out 2 circles of pastry, the first large enough to line the base and sides of the pie dish and the other to match the top of the pie dish. Line the tin with the bigger pastry circle.
Remove the star anise from the filling and discard. Spoon the filling into the pastry-lined dish. Brush the lip of the exposed pastry with the egg. Place the pastry lid on top. Squash the edges to seal, trim the excess pastry and use your thumb or
the tines of a fork to make a pattern around the edge. Brush with egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Cook the pie for 45-50 minutes until golden.