Beef and Pickled Walnut Pie – A rich and delicious beef, mushroom and pickled walnut pie topped with a homemade cheesy flaky pastry crust.
Today I am very excited to have been asked to create a new recipe for a brand I adore – Opies. I’ve always got several jars of their products in the cupboard, and you’ll see them cropping up in my recipes from time to time, like my delicious Sticky Gingerbread Cupcakes.
However, it’s not their stem ginger I’m using today; it’s something that’s especially popular at this time of year – Pickled Walnuts.
What are pickled walnuts?
Up until a couple of years ago when I first tried picked walnuts, I wasn’t too sure what they would be like, so if you’re new to pickled walnuts, I thought I’d fill you in on just what to expect.
Young walnuts are picked before the shell has formed and they’re then pickled in malt vinegar and a blend of spices. The flavour is somewhat reminiscent of Worcester Sauce with an added kick from the vinegar. I think they go particularly well with beef and cheese (as you’ll discover for yourself once you’ve given this recipe a try), they also work well chopped up as part of a salad dressing.
Today’s recipe is a Beef & Pickled Walnut Pie. Beef is slow cooked in port and stock with onions, mushrooms and pickled walnuts. It’s then baked in the oven topped with a homemade cheesy flaky pastry crust. Pickled walnuts are added twice during cooking. Some are added at the start of cooking, which allows the subtle spices to infuse into the sauce filling it with flavour. The second batch is added just before the pie is baked giving little bursts of more intense flavour.
I recommend serving the pie with some redcurrant jelly (for a little sweetness) and a selection of vegetables (broccoli, peas, carrots and braised cabbage all go well).
If you don’t fancy making the cheesy pastry crust, you can also use ready-made puff pastry instead. Alternatively, you could ditch the pastry and simply serve the beef filling with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Both the pie filling and pastry can be made in advance and frozen, making this perfect for a quick mid-week dinner, ready to pop in the oven when you need it. You can easily double up the quantities to make extra for another time.
Free From/Suitable For…
The ingredients I used to make this recipe are all free from the following allergens. However, please check any labels carefully for allergens you need to avoid as brands can vary and product recipes can change over time.
- Peanut-Free (contains Walnuts)
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Beef & Pickled Walnut Pie with a Cheesy Flaky Pastry Crust
For the Beef & Pickled Walnut Pie Filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 800 g diced beef
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp plain flour - or cornflour
- 300 g mushrooms
- 6 Opies Pickled Walnuts
- 200 ml ruby port
- 1 beef stock cube
- Water - enough to cover the other ingredients
- Salt - to taste
For the Cheesy Flaky Pastry
- 50 g butter - frozen
- 50 g cheese - I recommend either cheddar, comté or manchego
- 75 g plain flour
- 40 ml cold water
- Dice the onion (one onion), slice the mushrooms (300g) and slice four of the pickled walnuts.
- Add half the olive oil (½ tbsp) to a large saucepan. Heat and then add the diced beef (800g). Cook until the beef has browned, stirring regularly to ensure it cooks evenly. Once the beef has browned, remove it from the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil (½ tbsp) to the pan. Heat and then add the chopped onion. Reduce the heat to low and cook the onion for 4-5 minutes until it starts to soften and brown, stirring regularly.
- Return the beef to the pan. Add the flour (1 tbsp) and stir to coat the beef in the flour. Add the chopped mushrooms, pickled walnuts, ruby port (200ml) and stock cube (crumbled). Top up the pan with water until the level of the water just reaches the top of the other ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, make the pastry
- Finely grate the butter (50g) and cheese (50g). Put the butter, cheese and plain flour (75g) into a bowl. Cut through the ingredients with a dinner knife, until the cheese and butter are coated in the flour.
- Gradually add the cold water (40ml), ½ tbsp at a time. Continue to cut through the mixture to combine the water with the other ingredients. Once all of the water has been added, use your hands to bring the pastry together into a ball. If you have any stray flour, add a little more water to help bring it together. Once your pastry is in a ball, chill.
Now back to the pie filling
- Once your pie filling has been simmering for 1½ hours, remove the lid and simmer for a further 30 minutes until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened. If you find that the sauce is a little thin then simmer for longer until you have a thick sauce.
- Chop the remaining two pickled walnuts into matchsticks. Turn the heat off the pan, add the chopped walnuts and stir.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
- Decant the pie filling into a large pie dish or four small ones. Roll out the pastry. Cut it to slightly larger than your pie dish(es). Put on top of the pie, press down lightly at the edges and then trim any excess. Use a sharp knife to cut a few small slits in the pastry.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
What to do with any leftover pastryIf you have any scraps of leftover pastry then bundle it up into a ball, roll it out and cut it into shapes (any shape you fancy, simple strips are fine or you can get creative with cutters). Then bake them for about 15 minutes at 200°C/180°C fan until golden. They are perfect for popping into lunchboxes. My boys love them.
Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.