Dear Abby's Old English Beef Pie

Dear Abby’s Old English Beef Pie

3 lbs. beef, cut into small cubes
3 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup bouillon, consomme or stock
12 small whole potatoes, halved
12 small boiling onions, peeled
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 carrots, diced
1/2 ts freshly ground pepper
Pastry for top of pie (recipe follows)
1 cup dry red wine (optional)
1/4 ts ground thyme
1/4 ts ground sage
1/4 ts dried parsley leaves, crushed
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, for glaze

Preheat oven to 325ºF
In 6-qt. ovenproof saucepot, cook beef in butter for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bouillon; cover and cook in oven for 1 hour.
Add potatoes, onions, mushrooms, carrots and pepper; stir well. Cover and return to oven for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender and meat is nearly done.
While vegetables are cooking, prepare pastry and chill. Add wine to meat-vegetable mixture; return to oven and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven; stir in herbs. Spoon into 5-qt. casserole.
Roll out pastry until it is a little larger than circumference of casserole dish.
Cover top of casserole with pastry. Trim and press edge of pastry to rim of casserole with fork. Cut slits in pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg and water glaze.
Turn oven up to 425ºF. Return casserole to oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

PASTRY:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 ts salt
1/4 cup shortening
2 to 2 1/2 tbsp very cold water
In large bowl, sift together flour and salt. With pastry blender (or 2 forks) cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas.
Gradually add water, tossing mixture with fork to incorporate JUST enough moisture so that mixture can be formed into a ball. Wrap in waxed paper; chill for 30 minutes. Serves:8

Source: Dear Abby’s favorite recipes, by Abigail Van Buren - 1987, 1988.