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How to make rich meat and potato pie?

(24 Posts)
Polarbear2 Mon 03-May-21 18:59:38

Hi. I make meat and potato way described by various chefs on t’internet. Basically simmer meat, onions and potatoes for 3 hours then thicken and stick a top on it. It’s ok but it’s not that lovely melty dark meat and gravy you get in some pubs (I wouldn’t order pie in a restaurant so wouldn’t know).
Any tips on how to achieve the result I want?? Ps I usually dunk a can of Guinness in too but it doesn’t help.

Amberone Mon 03-May-21 19:19:24

I know what you mean Polarbear2 - I make an okay meat and potato pie but it's not that thick dark gravy you see on TV and in books. Even my meat sometimes looks more grey than brown. It tender and tastes okay but never has that oomph of the picture.

I hope someone has some ideas 😋

Buffybee Mon 03-May-21 19:21:49

I brown the seasoned braising steak and onions, add stock cubes and cook for a good few hours before adding potato’s.
Not something I’ve made for a while but if this Wintery weather continues, I’ll be thinking about it.

Jaxjacky Mon 03-May-21 19:49:29

I add a good old dollop of Worcestershire sauce.

muse Mon 03-May-21 19:57:09

Put thickening in at the beginning.

Toss the meat in plenty of seasoned flour or stir a tbsp of flour into cooked onions then add the ale (I put murphys in) and an oxo cube. Ale should cover the meat etc. No water or stock. Stir half way through.

Polarbear2 Mon 03-May-21 20:34:43

Thanks. Will try some of those. I must admit I’ve tried using the slow cooker but it came out very tough. I read that slow cookers aren’t good for stew meat??

B9exchange Mon 03-May-21 20:41:17

Bisto granules are great for giving a rich, dark gravy along with a stock cube.

Jaxjacky Mon 03-May-21 21:02:26

Polarbear I always use the slow cooker, but it’s on for 5/6 hours.

Doodledog Mon 03-May-21 21:04:57

I soften chopped onion and put it in a slow cooker, then cube the meat and toss it in flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and mustard powder, then fry it in batches until browned, and add to the onion with some thickly sliced carrots.

Then I deglaze the pan with a bottle of dark ale, scraping in all the meat juices and flour, and reduce it slightly, before pouring it over the meat and veg in the slow cooker, and cook it for four hours or until it is very tender. In winter, I sometimes add in a few vacuum packed chestnuts at this stage.

Then I taste to see if the seasoning is right, adding more if necessary, and I thicken it with Bisto powder (not the granules) mixed with a bit of cold water if it needs it, then top with puff pastry that I have pre-cooked so that it doesn't go soggy on top of the gravy.

I'm feeling hungry now 😃

Urmstongran Mon 03-May-21 21:17:37

Gravy browning a teaspoon.

SpringyChicken Mon 03-May-21 21:25:37

Make sure you caramelise the onions in oil or lard thoroughly. Don't move on to the next stages until the onions are very soft and a rich brown colour. Remove the onions from the pan, then brown the meat over a higher heat so it is an appetising brown colour. Add the onions, then thicken with flour, gravy browning and stock (or stock and ale). Cook slowly for a couple of hours, checking every half hour and adding water as necessary. Add the potato. Continue cooking until the meat breaks apart when pressed with a spatula.

Sundaze Mon 03-May-21 21:36:15

I agree with Urmstongran, a spoonful of gravy browning certainly gives it a rich, dark colouring. I stir in a paste of cornflour at the end to thicken.

Polarbear2 Mon 03-May-21 21:57:38

Thanks. My OH says thanks too 😂

timetogo2016 Tue 04-May-21 09:50:55

I put dark chocolate in the gravy,sounds daft but it`s gives a tasty rich flavour.

Polarbear2 Tue 04-May-21 15:03:43

Not daft at all. I did that with a chilli and it was lovely. 👍

trisher Tue 04-May-21 15:14:51

Browning the onions and the meat as SpringyChicken says is definitely the key to getting rid of the grey meat problem. I think chefs remove the meat and onions into the pie dish and then boil the gravy to reduce it, until it becomes thicker, but Bisto gravy granules do the same job. Only add some gravy to the pie and serve the rest in a gravy boat.

Amberone Tue 04-May-21 15:22:42

I sometimes put dark chocolate in chilli too, but never tried it in gravy.

I've never tried reducing the gravy separately before, that might be worth a try.

I just told my OH that we were discussing meat and potato pie and he said 'Why do you have to mess with the things that I like, why can't you just do it the same as normal' and flounced off 😅

Polarbear2 Tue 04-May-21 15:24:18

😂😂 bless.

hazel93 Tue 04-May-21 15:42:26

I always add chopped prunes to the " stew" and slow cook.
The gravy becomes rich and glossy - honest !

Polarbear2 Tue 04-May-21 15:44:40

Ooh. That’s new. Does it...err...loosen things up too ?? 😳😂

H1954 Tue 04-May-21 15:50:52

Red wine.........lots of it...........drink enough and you won't notice or care what colour the meat is🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Polarbear2 Tue 04-May-21 17:10:13


hazel93 Tue 04-May-21 17:15:11

No !! I do not mean adding loads , I bung in a few as the stew comes to the boil , no idea of the amount I just guess, then in the oven and slow cook.

Polarbear2 Tue 04-May-21 18:47:21

Hazel- that’s good 😁. I might try it! Lots of tips here. I’ll have to find my other cooking glitches and ask about those too!