Sue Lawrence's recipe
50g / 2 oz dripping or butter
900g / 2 lb stewing beef, diced (my butcher recommends chuck (shoulder) steak for steak pies)
40g / 1½ oz plain flour
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled, cut into thick slices
600 ml / 1 pint beef stock, hot
1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
225g / 8 oz puff pastry (ready-rolled)
1 small free-range egg, beaten
Heat the dripping or butter in a heavy saucepan or casserole. Toss half the meat in well-seasoned flour and brown all over in the fat. Then remove with a slotted spoon, coat the remaining meat and brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and add the onion and carrot (if you need it, add a little extra fat at this stage). Gently fry until softened, for about 5 minutes then return the meat to the pan with the hot stock, tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce. Grind in plenty of black pepper and some salt, stir well and bring to the boil. Then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook very gently for 2 hours, stirring once, then check seasoning, tip into a 1.8 litre / 3 pint pie dish and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.
Next day, cut a long strip of the rolled-out pastry. Wet your fingers lightly and dampen the edges of the pie dish. Place the pastry strip round the rim of the pie dish, then brush with beaten egg. Place the remaining pastry over the top and press down to seal all the edges. Trim off any excess pastry and crimp the edges between thumb and forefinger. Brush with beaten egg and snip a hole - with scissors - in the middle. Bake at 220C / 425F / Gas 7 for 30 - 35 minutes until puffed up and golden brown. You might need to lightly lay a piece of foil over the surface for the last 10 minutes or so to prevent burning. Serve piping hot.
From Scots Cooking by Sue Lawrence, published by Headline, ISBN 0747271267