Simone’s beef and pickled walnut pies

Photographer: Emma
Makes 5 small pies or one large pie

Outside of the blog team I think that Simone is one of our most regular guest bloggers. It has been a while since she last shared a recipe with us, due mostly in part to the arrival of a beautiful baby girl into this world, and also because she now works remotely from all the way down in Christchurch. We miss Simone around the office but are fortunate that she comes and pays us a special visit once a month or so. Simone has a great little story attached to this recipe so I will let her share it with you.

My husband like pies.

He says the one I make with this recipe is his favourite. He should know – he’s eaten the gauntlet, from the service station ones in his student days right up to fine dining in a Parisian restaurant. The French are famous for their pastry, he said, and wanted to try it. It was our first trip to Paris and we ended up in a restaurant we couldn’t afford. We ordered one dish each rather than embarrass ourselves by leaving. My husband’s choice from the menu was a humble pie, admittedly one with foie gras, served under a silver cover which the waiter swooped off with a flourish.

The next time I make our favourite pie I must remember to ask him how it compares to Paris. If he wants more cooked dinners he will say mine is best.

I hope you enjoy it too.


1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
3 rashers smoked streaky bacon chopped
1 kg lean beef cubed (I use rump)
2 Tbsp plain flour
• stock – probably a couple of cups but I just gauge it by eye to see all is covered.
2 glasses red wine
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
190g tomato paste
Handful of fresh herbs (normally thyme and rosemary)
2 Tbsp Worchester sauce
200g mushrooms, sliced
10 pickled walnuts, halved
salt and pepper to taste

Flaky pastry


1. Heat oil in saucepan, add onion, galic and bacon, cook until soft. Set aside.
2. Dust beef cubes with flour, salt and pepper. Brown beef in batches then add to onion mix.
3. In a large stock pot place mix along with red wine, mustard, tomato paste, herbs, mushrooms, and Worchester sauce. Add enough stock to make sure mixture is all covered. Cover and simmer for at least 2 hours.
4. Remove from heat. If there is a lot of liquid I make a roux by heating some butter and flour then draining this liquid off and using it instead of milk until I get a sauce thick enough for a pie filling. Then stir back into mixture.
5. Add pickled walnuts, season with salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to cool before adding to pastry shell (I never have time to do this!)
6. Preheat oven to 180°C on bake. Grease dish and line with pastry. Bake 30 mins or until golden on top.

The mustard, Worchester sauce, wine and tomato paste give a nice tangy body to the pie that works as a combination on its own, even if you left out the pickled walnuts you still get a really great flavoursome pie.