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Steak and Oyster Pie

Pies and Pastries

Filling of beefsteak chunks stewed with oysters. Said in 'Savoury Pastries' by Frederick T Vine (Vine 1900); "This is really the prince of pies, fit to grace the table of the grandest banquet. The price of this pie must, of course, be a little in advance of the plainer ones, but not so dear as to prove prohibitive."

Steak and Oyster Pie with Portabella Mushrooms and Puff Pastry crust
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Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton: (Acton 1845)

BEEF-STEAK PIE. From a couple to three pounds of rump-steak will be sufficient for a good family pie. It should be well kept though perfectly sweet for in no form can tainted meat be more offensive than when it is enclosed in paste. Trim off the coarse skin, and part of the fat should there be much of it (many eaters dislike it altogether, and when this is the case every morsel should be carefully cut away). If the beef should not appear very tender, it may be gently beaten with a paste-roller until the fibre is broken, then divided into slices half as large as the hand, and laid into a dish bordered with paste. It should be seasoned with salt and pepper, or cayenne, and sufficient water poured in to make the gravy, and keep the meat moist. Lay on the cover, and be careful always to brush the edge in every part with egg or cold water, then join it securely to the paste which is round the rim, trim both off close to the dish, pass the point of the knife through the middle of the cover, lay some slight roll or ornament of paste round it, and decorate the border of the pie in any of the usual modes, which are too common to require description. Send the pie to a well-heated, but not fierce oven for about an hour and twenty minutes. To make a richer beef-steak pie put bearded oysters in alternate layers with the meat, add their strained liquor to a little good gravy in which the beards may be simmered for a few minutes to give it further flavour, and make a light puff paste for the crust. Some eaters like it seasoned with a small portion of minced onion or eschalot when the oysters are omitted. Mushrooms improve all meat-pies. Veal pies may be made by this receipt, or by the second of those which follow. Slices of lean ham, or parboiled ox-tongue, may be added to them.
1 to 11/4 hour.

Original Receipt from 'Savoury Pastries' by Frederick T Vine (Vine 1900)

No. 93. Steak and Oyster Pie.

This is invariably appreciated whenever introduced, and I consider it the premier dish pie. The best meat for this purpose is the undercut of the sirloin or fillet. Procure a nice cut with the fat upon it, and cut it up into neat pieces, and to every pound of beef eight oysters of medium size are necessary. Open the oysters, turning them into a basin with their juices; put them into a stewpan, and just bring to the boil no more ; take them out, trim, and lay them aside ; take the meat, season with salt and pepper and a little finely-chopped mushrooms, and place a layer of the seasoned meat at the bottom of the dish ; on that lay half the oysters, then more meat, now the remainder of the oysters, finish with meat ; pour in the liquor from the oysters, and, if not enough to fill the dish, add some water or stock ; lay round the rim ; put on the lid, notch, egg over, decorate the top with leaves, and bake in a moderate oven. When done serve very hot. This is really the prince of pies, fit to grace the table of the grandest banquet. The price of this pie must, of course, be a little in advance of the plainer ones, but not so dear as to prove prohibitive.

Canned oysters can be used if economy is an object, but I would not advise you to use them if you can avoid it, as the canned oysters eating very tough and leathery, betray their origin, and you will see the oysters picked out and returned to the kitchen on the side of the plate. That is, of course, if the people know what they are eating, but, fortunately, the majority of them don't.

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