Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Beef Bolognese Pie (gluten free) using Schwartz sauce mix

Ever had a Bolognese Pie? No? Neither had I before I made this one! Will I make it again? For sure! It turned out to be a deliciously tasty twist on an old pasta favourite.

The idea came from a fusion of two foodie things on my 'to do' list. The first : a need to re-test my exciting new Gluten Free Alchemist shortcrust pastry recipe (first used with my Mini Picnic Pies) on a larger pie, to see how it handled, rolled and baked in 'big' form. The second : a need to test the versatility of the Schwartz gluten free Bolognese sauce mix, that I was gifted in a goody bag when I attended a Schwartz gluten free supper club earlier in the year.

Like any busy parent with a full-time job, it is always great to find a few dinner-time short cuts to make life easier. The new Schwartz gluten free sauces are full of flavour and a cinch to use , but as with any committed foodie, it's always fun to think outside the box and find new or interesting ways to use them.

This Bolognese Pie uses beef bolognese, made to the letter with the Schwartz mix, but with some extra simmer time (lid off) to reduce the liquid and thicken the sauce, so that the pastry remains crisp when filled. You'll find no soggy bottoms in my house!

The pastry was as amazing for this pie as it had been for the Mini Picnic Pies. Made with a carefully-combined blend of wholegrain and white starch flours, it is nutritionally balanced and also rice-free. Most importantly though, this pastry dough is incredibly smooth and pliable, rolls perfectly and is flexible enough to line a large pie base without having to patch up the holes.

Filled with thick beef Bolognese sauce and topped with a decorated crust, it bakes beautifully...... Crisp and short on the outside..... rich, meaty, red and saucy on the inside. Miss GF couldn't get enough of it, but I have to agree with her....., it was rather moreish.

I am offering my Bolognese Pie to the following linkies, to share some gluten free love :

Free From Fridays with Free From Farmhouse and Le Coin De Mel

Cook Blog Share with Hijacked By Twins

Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Fiesta Friday #174

Beef Bolognese Pie (makes 1 x 8 to 9 inch pie)


Pastry (1 batch GFA rice-free shortcrust (as below also = 440g rice free flour blend from this post) or use your favourite short-crust pastry - home-made or packet)
110g tapioca flour
88g potato starch flour
88g sorghum flour
66g cornflour
44g teff flour
44g buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
220g unsalted butter - cold and cubed (or dairy-free alternative)
2 large eggs
approx 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water (iced if possible)

Beef Bolognese Filling (using Schwartz GF mix or use your favourite Bolognese recipe)
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
450g/1lb extra lean beef mince
1 large onion - chopped
100g button mushrooms - sliced/halved/quartered
2 tablespoons tomato puree
150 ml/¼ pint water
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x sachet gluten free Schwartz Spaghetti Bolognese mix

grated cheddar cheese and/or
grated parmesan cheese

1 egg and a little milk - beaten together for egg-wash


  1. Pastry : Weigh and mix together the flours, xanthan gum and salt, making sure all lumps are completely broken down (I put mine in an air-tight container and shake vigorously).
  2. Rub the butter into the flour mix using the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
  3. Beat the eggs together in a small bowl and then add to the flour mix with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water.
  4. Bring the dough together with a flat knife or your hands, adding more water a teaspoon at a time, until you achieve a firm, but slightly sticky dough-ball. Knead slightly to ensure a smooth even texture (you may choose to 'fraiser' the dough instead of kneading, for an extra smooth consistency - as in this post)
  5. Wrap in clingfilm until ready to use and chill in the fridge.
  6. Meanwhile make your Beef Bolognese Filling : In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the mince and onion and fry for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion is softening and the mince is browning nicely.
  7. Add the mushrooms and continue to fry for a further 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Drain the excess liquid from the pan, before adding the tomato puree. Stir through and fry for a further minute.
  9. Add the water, chopped tomatoes and Schwartz sauce mix. Bring to the boil, stirring continually to ensure the mixture is well-blended.
  10. Turn the heat down and stirring intermittently, simmer with the lid off for about 20 to 30 minutes until the liquid has reduced considerably and you have a thickened bolognese sauce. (If you are concerned that it is not thickening enough, you can mix a heaped teaspoon cornflour (starch) with a dribble of water to make a paste and add to the pan, stirring into the boiling liquid until thickening, although I didn't find this necessary).
  11. Remove from the heat and allow the Bolognese filling to cool completely (stir from time to time whilst it is doing so).
  12. Whilst the filling is cooling, cut off about two-thirds of your pastry and lightly dust the base of an 8 or 9 inch pie tin (I used one with a loose base to make it easier to remove later) with cornflour.
  13. If the pastry is very hard from being in the fridge, gently warm slightly with your hands to soften and then roll out (between 2 sheets of flour-dusted clingfilm) to a size large enough to line the base and sides of the pie tin. 
  14. Remove the top sheet of clingfilm and flip the pastry over into the tin, gently easing into the base and up the sides until it fits snuggly. Try and remove the clingfilm, but if the pastry has stuck to the base, just pop the whole thing into the fridge for about half an hour and the clingfilm should then come away easily.
  15. Remove the clingfilm and carefully cut away the excess pastry at the top edge with a sharp knife, making sure you leave a slight overhang to stick the pastry lid (save the left-overs and amalgamate with the remaining pastry by kneading slightly).
  16. Place the raw pastry base in the fridge to firm up.
  17. When the filling is cold, heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
  18. Take the pie base and fill with the Bolognese sauce.
  19. Sprinkle the top of the sauce with a little Cheddar and/or Parmesan cheese.
  20. Roll out the remaining pastry to the size of the pie top (for a lid). Make the egg-wash by beating an egg with a little milk and use to brush round the top sides of the pastry base. Drape the pastry lid over.
  21. Using your fingers, gently push the lid together with the wet pastry-base sides to stick and then cut away any excess pastry to tidy the pie edges.
  22. If you have any remaining pastry, you can use to cut out some decorations. Stick these to the top of the pie with a little egg-wash.
  23. Carefully cut a couple of small slits into the top of the pie with a sharp knife (to allow steam to escape when cooking) and brush the whole top surface with egg wash.
  24. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the pastry is golden on top and crisp.
  25. Carefully remove from the tin and enjoy!
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated


  1. I love you! Saw this on #CookBlogShare and thought wow that's an amazing idea...should've known it was your idea! 100% going to make this Kate - you're a star!

    1. Ha! Thanks Rebecca..... Always one to get creative with a basic idea...... I think I just like making things more challenging than they need to be.... but if the effort is appreciated, then that's good with me! x

  2. You are so inventive Kate! A clever twist of a classic Italian dish! I like it! :-)

    1. Thanks Alida..... I don't think it will take over the simplicity of the spaghetti version, but it will be yummy once in a while xx

  3. This is great! And that pie top is gorgeous! I've put bolognese with noodles in puff pastry to make a braid---that was fun!

    1. Thanks Anyonita. A puff pastry braid sounds fun..... Is that over on your blog??

  4. Ooooh Kate this sounds like an epic pie! I need this, my lot would love it! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

    1. Thanks Kirsty.... Epic is a good way to describe it.... It certainly went down well x

  5. mmmmmm what a tasty looking and sounding pie! Sadly my boys don't like pastry so we will continue to serve bolognese with pasta, but one day when they do I will have to give this a go x

    1. Oh no.... not like pastry? I think I would be making it for myself anyway! Thanks for your lovely comment though xx

  6. Oooh wow! Genius! The Peachicks would literally devour this (with a minor pastry alteration) I am definitely going to give one of these a go!

    1. Thanks Midge.... I have a feeling the Peachicks would love it! xx

  7. I love this idea! So clever!! It sounds totally delicious too - I would love to have this for my dinner. And what pretty decoration too :-) Eb x

  8. Like this. And So pretty pastry work. In my head I am thinking about ways to make the filling vegetarian which will be easy with soya mince

  9. You're so clever! My husband is a meat fiend and he would love your Bolognese Pie! Thanks for joining in with #FreeFromFridays.

    1. Thanks Mel. You're welcome. Maybe you should treat him!!! xx

  10. I've always wanted to make a savory pie, but not like the tomato pies they sell at the pizzerias over here, which is more like a pizza. I wanted it to be more like a meat pie, just like this! What a wonderful recipe. Thanks for sharing with Fiesta Friday! 😘

    1. Thanks Angie. You're welcome. I love these types of pie and it's great to share a great recipe x

  11. I love bolognese. I love pie. What a great idea to put them together! It's a grey day here and I'm freezing so this would warm me up nicely. #freefromfridays


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