A couple of weeks ago I got this sudden craving for a meat pie. The combination of juicy ground beef and gravy encased in pastry seemed so irresistible and inviting I was ready to pick one up from the cornerstore and ”cook” it up in the microwave, eventhough I still find the whole idea of a “meat cake” slightly odd.
The other thing I found odd about the meat pie the last two times I had it were the little bits in it that were… unidentifiable and hard to chew. So, rather than visiting the cornerstore, I decided to make my own, wholesome version of a family-sized meat pie. Filled with spinach, lean beef mince and some grated cheese the pie is relatively additive free and contains none of those gristly bits that commercially made pies sometimes do.
I wasn’t sure how Mr Chipconnoisseur would go with a beef pie that contained this much spinach, but I think he’s learnt now to trust my cooking and is usually delighted with whatever I decide to taste-test on him. This pie being no exception. Actually I was pleasantly surprised myself: it was so good we both went back for seconds. It’s rare for me as I’m a small dinner eater.
Beef, spinach and cheese pie
- 2 sheets shortcrust pastry
- 400g lean beef mince
- 250g frozen spinach
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar
- 2 large onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Egg for brushing
Preheat oven to 200C (or check your shortcrust pastry baking instructions). Defrost the spinach in a bowl.
Chop onions finely and cook in a little olive oil, stirring, until soft and lightly browned. Set aside. In another saucepan brown mince in some olive oil, add spinach, tomato paste, crushed garlic and onions. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Thaw pastry sheets. Grease and line a family-size tart tin with one sheet, pricking the bottom with a fork. Place mince mixture in the tart and cover in a crisscross fashion with 1cm wide pastry strips. Brush with egg.
Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Tip: Beef, spinach and cheese mixture makes a great pizza topping too!
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