4 lb chuck roast
2 tablespoons oil for browning
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Vegemite (dissolved in 1/4c boiling water)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp kosher salt
3 x 9″ pie crusts
4 x 10″ puff pastry sheets
1 egg, beaten.
- Start by making the filling. It’s best to do this the night before as it must cool completely before being added to the pastry cases. Cut the chuck roast into 2″ pieces. Add the oil to a heavy based pan and brown the beef in 3-4 batches to avoid overcrowding, removing it from the pot after each batch. It should take at least 10-15 minutes to brown each batch thoroughly – the color you develop at this stage will determine how rich the color of the gravy is.
- Add the onions to the leftover beef fat in the pot, and cook for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add the flour and cook another minute. Slowly whisk in the beef stock. Add the Worcestershire sauce, Vegemite, salt and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Place the lid on the pot and leave for about 2 hours until the meat is completely tender. Once tender, use a spoon to break most of the larger pieces apart to create a mix of smaller pulled pieces and larger chunks. If there is still too much liquid in the pot, keep simmering with the lid off until it reduces to a consistency you’re happy with. Allow mix to cool completely before using.
- TO MAKE 8 SMALLER PIES: Preheat an oven to 375f. Line the pie tins with pie crusts – you might have to piece together a few pieces of crust to make them fit perfectly, then trim the edges. Line each pie with parchment paper, then fill with rice or pie weights. Blind bake for 10-15 minutes in a 375f oven. Remove and discard paper and allow crusts to cool. Fill each pie shell with the beef filling, mounding slightly at the top. Next, place a disc of puff pastry (see above for cutting notes) on each pie, the seal the edges by pressing down with a fork.
- TO MAKE TWO 9 INCH PIES: Preheat an oven to 375f. Lay the crusts in two pie tins. Line each pie with parchment paper, then fill with rice or pie weights. Blind bake for 10-15 minutes in a 375f oven. Remove and discard paper and allow crusts to cool. Fill each pie shell with the beef filling, mounding slightly at the top. Next, place a sheet of puff pastry on each pie. Use a sharp knife to trim any excess, then seal the edges by pressing down with a fork.
- Use a knife to make 3-4 piercings in each pie to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of each pie with the egg wash, then bake in a 375f oven for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden. Allow to cool slightly before serving.