Iron Chef UK

Minced beef and onion pie recipe

This classic British dish from Tom Aikens makes a hearty meal. Tom serves this puff pastry beef pie with salsify and roast bone marrow.

Serves 4


For the pie

  • 60g vegetable oil
  • 500g minced beef
  • 4g salt
  • 2g pepper
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 250g diced onion
  • 4g picked thyme leaf
  • 2g caster sugar
  • 8g plain flour
  • 400ml white chicken stock
  • 200g puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the salsify

  • 10 sticks salsify
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 100ml red wine
  • Approx. 200ml white chicken stock

For the balsamic glazed carrots

  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 star anise
  • 20 baby carrots
  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 300ml balsamic vinegar

For the roast bone marrow

  • 5 x 3 inch beef marrow bones
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley


To make the minced beef and onion pie

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Place a non stick frying pan onto a medium heat. Add the oil, and once hot, slowly add the mince - not all at once as it could splash. Do not move the mince at first, as it will cool the pan down and the meat could boil; wait 5-8 minutes before you do. Add ½ the salt and pepper and cook till golden brown for about 8-12 minutes. The mince will spit a little so be careful when you are stirring it. Tap the mince now and gain so that it breaks down.

3. Turn the heat off and place the meat into a colander with a bowl underneath to catch any excess oil. Place the oil back on the heat and, once hot, add the butter.

4. Once the butter has melted add the diced onion, thyme, sugar and the remaining seasoning and cook on a low to medium heat for 10-12 minutes - until the onion is slightly golden brown and caramelised. Stir the onions well as they can catch and burn on the pan.

5. Add the meat back to the pan and mix it in well then add the flour and cook out for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock a little at a time, stirring well. Once all the stock has been incorporated turn the heat up to full so the mince comes to a slow simmer. Cook for 10-14 minutes, check the seasoning, then turn the heat off and place into a shallow metal tray to cool.

6. Roll out the pastry (you will need approx 160g for the base) on a well floured surface to a ½cm thickness. Line the pie dish and let it rest then place the meat into the bottom of the dish. Finally, roll out the rest of the pastry to the same thickness for the lid and place it on top. Egg wash the top and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

To cook the salsify

7. Wash and peel the salsify, and then wash again. Cut into 4-5cm batons.

8. Place a sauté pan on a medium heat and add the butter. When it has melted, add the salsify, the thyme and a little seasoning and sugar. Move this around the pan and after 10 minutes the batons should be golden brown.

9. Add the red wine and reduce until sticky then add enough white chicken stock to just cover the sticks and carry on cooking on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. The stock will reduce slowly and glaze the salsify at the same time.

To make the balsamic glazed carrots

10. Heat a frying pan, then add the olive oil, star anise and the whole peeled carrots. Slowly colour over a low heat for approximately 10-15 minutes. At the last few minutes, add the tarragon, thyme and balsamic vinegar and cook a little faster until the vinegar has reduced and is thick and syrupy, coating the carrots. Retain the syrup to go around the plate.

To make the roast bone marrow

11. Soak the marrow bones in cold water for 15-20 minutes and then remove the marrow from the bone. Pan fry in butter and then slice into ½cm pieces. Sprinkle on the shallots and parsley and season.

To serve

12. Serve a slice of the minced beef and onion pie alongside a few sticks of salsify the glazed carrots and roasted bone marrow.


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Iron Chef UK

Last Broadcast: Friday 17 December 12.20PM

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