Tips to bake a perfect pie

Richard Smith, Sheffield chef and restaurateur
Richard Smith, Sheffield chef and restaurateur
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COMMUNITY groups, business and enthusiastic fundraisers have already started to sign up – but to tempt more Sheffielders into taking part in The Great Pie and Peas Up, The Star today begins a series of recipes from some of the city’s top chefs.

The campaign is being launched to fund a new inpatient unit at St Luke’s Hospice, and The Star has pledged to raise £100,000 to fund one of 14 new single rooms.

The first recipe comes from Richard Smith, who runs Artisan at Crosspool and The Cricket Inn at Totley, among other eateries.

He has devised a delicious steak pie with lashings of Thornbridge ale.

Readers are asked to host pie and pea suppers anytime in March, asking guests for donations in return.

Suppers can take place in homes, workplaces, pubs, restaurants or community centres.

People can bake their own, or simply buy them in from a supplier of their choice.

A minimum of £10 per person is suggested – as a guide, £20 could buy a picture to brighten a patient’s room, £50 could buy specialist pillows to increase comfort, and £200 could pay for a patient’s telephone, so they can stay in touch with friends and family.

Everybody who registers will be sent a pack with invitations, a poster and ‘quiz question’ place mats.

Other activities can be added to events to raise extra funds, such as auctions or raffles. Hosts could also prepare a dessert or starter to boost the menu, or even hold a ‘guess the weight of the pie’ or ‘guess the number of peas’ competition.

The first 50 who sign up will receive a special bottle of Henderson’s Relish and prizes are on offer for champion fundraisers.

* Visit to register. Do you have a plan for an outlandish supper? Email with your ideas.


PIE MIX – 1kg diced beef chuck, 25g seasoned plain flour, 435g onions, 15g garlic, 20ml sunflower oil, 125g carrots, 75g celery, two sprigs thyme, salt, pepper, 150ml Thornbridge Lord Marples, 25ml Henderson’s relish, chicken stock, 20g gravy granules, one tbsp brown sauce.

PASTRY – 200g plain flour, 200g self-raising flour, 65g suet, 65g butter, cold water, salt, thyme, 65g cheddar cheese, one tsp grain mustard, half tsp English mustard.


PIE FILLING – Measure ingredients, preheat oven to 210C.

Warm pan, coat beef in flour.

Brown meat, then deglaze pan with half the beer.

Place all meat into pan, add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and season.

Add leftover beer, top up with chicken stock to cover meat.

Boil then simmer for two hours.

PASTRY – Mix flour, salt and butter in bowl, rub together until like breadcrumbs.

Add other ingredients and mix until pastry forms soft dough.

Cover and chill, roll to half a centimetre thick.

Use pie dish as base and cut out pastry. Chill until assembly.


When meat is tender, add Henderson’s, brown sauce and gravy.

Fill pie dish and top with pastry. Bake until pastry is golden brown and the filling is hot.

Serve with potatoes roasted in dripping and mushy peas.