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Phil Vickery's pie and mash

Nothing beats a handmade pie fresh from the oven.

And Phil Vickery's beef and thyme pie is the ultimate comfort food for this cold weather.


Serves 4-6


2 tbsp vegetable oil750g cut into 4cm diced chuck steak, leave any fat on2-3 tbsp plain flour1 heaped tbsp tomato puree2 small onions, very finely chopped1 tbsp creamed horseradish2 x 10g beef stock cubes, crumbled3 tbsp Worcester sauce2 tbsp fresh thyme finely choppedRoughly 600mls of boiling waterSaltGround black pepper500g butter puff pastry1 egg lightly beaten


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C, Gas Mark 3.

  • Using kitchen paper pat the meat dry.

  • Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a deep casserole dish or ovenproof pan, then add the meat and cook until nicely browned all over.

  • Sprinkle on the flour and stir in well, let the flour catch slightly, this helps to give the stew a nice colour and flavour.

  • Then add the tomato puree, onions, horseradish, stock cubes, Worcester sauce and fresh thyme, mix really well.

  • Add enough boiling water to barely cover the stew.

  • Season well with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer.

  • Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 1½ hours, nice and gently.

  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool.

  • Roll out the pastry and line a 24cm x 5cm deep pie dish, allow 2cm extra.

  • Cut off any excess then egg the pie dish top and use the excess to line the top of the dish.

  • Add the cooled beef mixture, and leave nice and proud.

  • Lightly egg the pastry rim, and lay the top over neatly making sure not to stretch the pastry, and seal the edges well, trim again and crimp.

  • Brush well with beaten egg and make 2 small incisions in the centre.

  • Bake at 180 C / Gas Mark 4 for 35-40 minutes until well browned and hot.

  • Serve with mash, braised swede and carrots (see recipe)


Serves 4


1 medium swede, peeled and cut into 4-5cm chunks, not too thin6 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half, not lengthways, nice chunks.olive oilsaltpepper1 head garlic4 sprigs fresh thyme


  • Pack the veg into a small saucepan (so you use less oil) and just cover with olive oil.

  • Season well with salt and pepper, add the garlic head, sliced in half and the fresh thyme.

  • Gently heat until the oil is just simmering, not boiling and cook for 12-15 minutes until the veg are nice and soft, but not squashy.

  • Leave to cool in the oil.

  • When ready to re heat, drain off the veg, garlic and herbs.

  • Using some of the drained oil, heat in a large non stick frying pan, then sauté the cooked softened veg nice and gently until nice browned.

  • The veg will be sweet and utterly delicious.

  • Keep the oil for further cooking in the fridge. Serve.



750g potatoes, Marfona, White King Edward, Wilja150mls hot milk, approx50g butter or olive oilTable saltGround white pepper


  • Bring the washed medium chunks of potato to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer (not too slowly) until cooked right through, check several with a table knife as the chunks may cook at different times.

  • Drain well and leave in their own steam for a couple of minutes, then tip back into the pan.

  • Using a potato masher, break up well and thoroughly.

  • Then using a whisk add the hot milk, butter or oil into the mashed potatoes and season well with salt and pepper (the mash should not be too creamy, but soft).

  • Re-season well with salt and pepper if needed.

Different flavourings

Add half teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace and beat well.

Add 1 small onion and 2 cloves garlic crushed and stewed in butter for 15 minutes.

Add chopped black olives and fresh chopped basil.

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