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.
Beef Bolognese Pie (makes 1 x 8 to 9 inch pie)
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
- 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).
- Rub the butter into the flour mix using the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Beat the eggs together in a small bowl and then add to the flour mix with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water.
- 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)
- Wrap in clingfilm until ready to use and chill in the fridge.
- 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.
- Add the mushrooms and continue to fry for a further 2 to 3 minutes.
- Drain the excess liquid from the pan, before adding the tomato puree. Stir through and fry for a further minute.
- Add the water, chopped tomatoes and Schwartz sauce mix. Bring to the boil, stirring continually to ensure the mixture is well-blended.
- 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).
- Remove from the heat and allow the Bolognese filling to cool completely (stir from time to time whilst it is doing so).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Place the raw pastry base in the fridge to firm up.
- When the filling is cold, heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
- Take the pie base and fill with the Bolognese sauce.
- Sprinkle the top of the sauce with a little Cheddar and/or Parmesan cheese.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the pastry is golden on top and crisp.
- Carefully remove from the tin and enjoy!