What's better than a flaky, savory meat pie? Individual sized mini Beef and Mushroom Pies with extra crust! They are crispy, golden, and delicious with fork tender beef and umami mushrooms throughout the filling. You can easily make these in advance, and even freeze them. They're also perfect for a Harry Potter themed menu!
4ounces(1 stick) cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
½cupvegetable shorteningchilled and cut into pieces (I use Spectrum non-hydrogenated shortening)
½cup to ¾ cupcold water
22ounces(about 1 ⅓ pounds) trimmed chuck steakcut into ½-inch dice
2medium onionsfinely chopped
8ouncescremini mushroomswiped clean and chopped
2cupschicken or beef broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Stir the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening pieces and toss to coat with the flour, then flatten the butter and shortening pieces between your fingers until there are pea-sized pieces of butter and shortening throughout the flour. Sprinkle ½ cup of cold water over the mixture, and gently use a rubber spatula or bowl scraper to hydrate the flour until the mixture sticks together. Add more water by the tablespoonful as needed until the dough holds together. Divide the dough in half, form into two disks, and wrap each disk with plastic wrap. Chill at least two hours or preferably overnight.
To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the beef in two batches, searing on each side until crusty brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer each batch to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring and scraping up the fond (browned bits) until the onions and mushrooms have softened. Add the flour and mix until combined, then stir in the tomato paste. Slowly add the broth, mixing well to make sure the flour doesn’t leave lumps. Return the beef to the pan, add the thyme, and season with salt and pepper, but be careful not to overseason as the mixture will reduce significantly. You can always season more later.
Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes, until liquid has reduced to a thick gravy-like consistency. Stir often to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick, especially once it has thickened considerably. Adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer to a bowl or storage container and let cool to room temperature. You can make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate for up to a couple days if needed. You’ll have about 3 cups of filling.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. On a generously floured surface roll out each of the discs to about ⅛-inch thickness. You will need to cut out 6 larger circles measuring about 6 ½-inches in diameter, and 6 smaller circles at 3 ¾-inch in diameter. For the larger circles you can trace a knife around a plate. For the smaller circles, use a circular dough cutter or trace the top of the glass. You will likely need to re-roll the scraps from both disks of dough once in order to cut out enough circles.
Fit the large circles into the cups of a jumbo sized muffin pan. To make life a little easier, you can use your knife to cut a small wedge from one side of the circle before pressing the dough into the cups. This will keep you from having a rumpled piece of dough inside the cup. Just press the cut edges together to seal once the dough is fitted into the cup. You can also patch up with scraps of dough as needed if you accidentally cut the wedge too deep.
Fill each of the dough-lined muffin cups generously will the filling, about ½ cup into each. Take the smaller dough circles and brush the edges with a little water, then lay the smaller circles over the filling, and use your fingers to press and seal the dough. Crimp the edges if you’d like. Brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash, and use a sharp knife to cut a few slits to form vents. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and use a small offset spatula to gently pop each of the pies out of the muffin cups. You could also flip over the pan, but this could be dangerous if any of the pie tops are a little loose.
Buy a little more beef than you need so you can trim and discard the fat and still yield about 1 ¼ to 1 ⅓ pounds meat.
To freeze these pies let them cool completely, then wrap individually in plastic wrap, place into a freezer bag and freeze. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating. Reheat them in a 350°F oven on a sheet pan until heated through (internal temperature should be 165°F).