Urbis Design Day and a Beef and Oyster Pie

Photographer: Adam and Alt Group
Serves 6

In the last week of March, Fisher & Paykel along with Alt Group presented the Social Kitchen (part II) at the 2012 Urbis Design Day.  Our curiosity about the food journey and the role the kitchen plays in everyday life was the inspiration for our experience.  The project was a combined effort across our Auckland and Dunedin product design teams.

Guests were greeted with a glass of wine and were given a tea towel in preparation for their hands-on involvement in hunting, gathering, cooking, and sharing four tastes that the Our Kitchen team had designed for the occasion.

The first taste was a Bluff Oyster, flown in from the Deep South that morning.  Guests were able to choose their own from the tank and have it shucked and dressed right in front of them.  Next up guests were given a cube of Angus rib eye to sear on an impressive 6m long gas cooktop, before being finished with a marinated mushroom, caper aioli and crispy onions.  Yum!   The next taste was a cleansing shaved ice with peach, sour cherry or passionfruit syrup.  To finish guests were treated to a handmade passionfruit and mandarin or licorice and five spice cookie to dip in perfectly molten chocolate.

As a product evaluator I found it really interesting interacting with people and learning so much about the different habits people have in their own kitchens!  We ended up with a few leftover oysters so I decided to make some Beef and Bluff Oyster Pies – much to the delight of many of the crew here in Dunedin.  This is a wonderful way to make just a few of these delicacies satisfy many mouths.  The flavours go so well together and the oystery ‘taste of the sea’ makes it very special.


800g stewing steak, cut into 4cm chunks
50g plain flour
5 tbsp oil
25g butter
225g small button mushrooms
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
300ml Stout
300ml beef stock
thyme, 3 sprigs
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
12 Bluff oysters
1 400g block short pastry
1 400g block puff pastry
1 small egg, beaten, for brushing
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Season the pieces of steak with salt and pepper, then toss the flour through and shake off but reserve the excess.
2. Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan and brown the meat in 2 batches until nicely browned all over. Remove meat and set aside in a bowl.
3. Add another tbsp of the oil, half the butter and the mushrooms to the pan and fry briefly.
4. Add to the bowl with the beef. Add the rest of the oil and butter, the onions and sugar to the pan and fry over a medium-high heat for 20 minutes, until the onions are nicely caramelised. Stir in the reserved flour, then slowly add the Stout and stock and bring to the boil whilst stirring.
5. Return the beef and mushrooms to the pan with the thyme, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, ¾ tsp of salt and some pepper, then cover and simmer for 1½ hours, until the meat is just tender.
6. Lift the meat, mushrooms and onions out of the liquid with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl to cool (once it has cooled part way put the bowl in the fridge). Bring the liquid to the boil and boil rapidly until reduced by 1/3.
7. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme twigs, adjust the seasoning if necessary Stir everything together well and leave to cool completely.
8. Roll out the short pastry and line a family-sized deep pie dish. Allow to rest in the fridge until the filling is cold, and then pour the chilled filling into the lined pie dish. Add the oysters, pushing them down into the sauce.
9. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to approx 4mm thick, brush the edge of the short pastry with the beaten egg and place the puff pastry over the top. Press the edges to seal and trim. Cut a small cross in the center of the pastry to let excess steam escape (or use a pie funnel).
10. Preheat the oven to 200°C and chill the pie to relax the pastry for 15 min before brushing with egg and placing in the oven.
11. Place in the lower half of the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.