New Recipe: Recipe: Beef short rib and carrot pies with hot water pastry

Crisp, buttery pastry encasing slow-cooked beef: perfection itself.

Sam Mannering

Crisp, buttery pastry encasing slow-cooked beef: perfection itself.

Those jumbo muffin tins are damn useful for this sort of thing. I want to stop calling them jumbo muffin tins as I don’t really eat muffins, let alone jumbo ones, but if I referred to pie tins it would be confusing if I referred to pie tins.

A hot water pastry, in all of its crisp, rich buttery deliciousness, is one of the more wonderful things one can come across in life. It is as simple to make as it is unorthodox: just give it time to chill in the fridge so that it can firm up. And frankly, with a filling like this, you couldn’t wish for more. I’m scoffing one as I write this and couldn’t be happier.

* Recipe: Overnight short rib with rag pasta and gremolata
* Recipe: Pici with courgette and pecorino
* Recipe: Sam Mannering’s cheeky beef pie with parsnips

Beef short rib and carrot pies with hot water pastry

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 30 mins (plus about 10 hours short rib cooking time)

Serves: makes 6 wee pies


1 quantity beef short rib (recipe below)

4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 tbsp butter, to grease the pan

Large handful of rosemary and parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Hot water pastry

2 tsp sea salt

220g butter

480g strong white flour


When you go to cook the beef short rib (see instructions below), add the carrots and leave them to cook with the meat.

In the meantime, do the pastry – this can be done a day in advance.

Combine the salt, half of the butter and 260ml of water together in a small saucepan over a low heat until the butter has melted.

In the meantime, dice the remaining 110g of butter and combine with the flour in a food processor. Pulse until well combined and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually pour the melted butter and water mixture into the flour, pulsing as you go, until you are left with a smooth, soft ball of dough. Taste a wee bit of it to see if you need to add any more salt (under-seasoned pastry is the absolute worst).

Turn out from the food processor, wrap up tightly with cling film, and leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.

Once the beef is cooked, allow it to rest and cool a little, and then skim off most of the fat from the surface of the liquid. Fish out the garlic cloves, squeeze the soft garlic out and add to the mix. Shred the meat roughly and return to the liquid and mix everything together well. Taste and season, and stir in the chopped herbs. Allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C on fan bake. Grease the tin well with the tablespoon of butter.

Roll out the dough and use two-thirds of it to line the tins. Fill with the short rib mix, and then roll out the remaining dough and make little lids. Roughly seal the edges (rustic is good, I think), poke a few holes in the top, and then scatter a bit of extra rosemary over the top. Pop into the freezer for five minutes or so to allow the pastry to firm up, then bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until the pastry is cooked, crisp and golden brown. Remove and allow to cool for several minutes in the tin before turning out and transferring to a wire rack to cool properly. These will keep several days and reheat well.

Overnight beef short rib

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 10-12 hours / overnight

Serves: 4-6


3-4 kg beef short rib on the bone

1 bottle of cheap red

Beef stock

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Large handful of garlic cloves, unpeeled

Half a red onion, quartered

Handful of rosemary and thyme

Couple of bay leaves

Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 130C.

In a large, deep roasting dish, place the beef bone side up. Add all the other ingredients, seasoning well with salt and pepper and topping up with enough beef stock so that the meat is submerged by at least two-thirds. Cover with tin foil.

Pop into the oven and leave to gently cook for at least 10 hours. At this point, start to peek at it. By now, the meat should be so tender that it is falling apart, and the liquid will have reduced down.

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