One of my favourite pies is steak and ale. Unfortunately, its really not healthy eating friendly. A pub version of steak and ale pie with mash and peas can have you eating around 1,000 calories. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not waste my calories on a pie! I was having a flick through my recipe books and got an idea for my own beef pie from the Hairy Bikers. They use pizza base mix instead of pastry – genius! I wasn’t too keen on their ingredients, so I switched it up for my own version of a skinny beef pie. I know, shocker isn’t it?
I already had some Quorn mince in the freezer, so I tossed out the beef from this beef pie. By all means, use extra lean beef mince or even turkey mince if you like. I also didn’t want to use any sort of potato as the pizza base was going to make this quite a carby meal. So I swapped the ale for a flavourful thick beef stock and potatoes for cannellini beans. Each pie only clocks in at 318 calories and a massive 15g of protein. This can make up for the fact that this is a bit high in carbs. Every now and then you can allow an indulgent carby meal! Before attempting to make this dish I should let you know this is based off of 6 individual pies and you will need individual pie dishes. This is a time consuming dish due to making up the pizza base dough, so this may be best kept as a weekend meal or on a day where you have a free afternoon. Likewise, the pie filling can be made up in advance and put in the fridge.
Skinny Beef Pie – Serves 6
185g Quorn mince
1 tin cannellini beans, drained
1 tin sliced carrots, drained
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
85g frozen garden peas
300ml beef stock
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp black pepper
dash of smoked paprika
2 packs pizza base mix
Preheat oven to 180c and set aside 6 individual pie tins. Set a large pan on medium heat and spray with frylight. Add the mince, onion, celery, carrots and bell pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the mince is browned and the onions are starting to soften.
Add the spices to the pan and continue to cook for a further 5-8 minutes, ensuring to stir continuously so that the mixture doesn’t catch to the bottom of the pan. Break off 1/3 of the beef stock cube and set aside. Use the remaining 2/3 of the beef stock cube to make up the beef stock. Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar and cannellini beans and give it all a good mix and bring the mixture to a boil. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and add the cornflour with equal amounts of water and add to the pan. Continue to cook until the mixture has thickened. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the frozen peas. Set the pan aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add the 2 packets of pizza base mix with the remaining beef stock cube and a dash of black pepper. Mix as per packet instructions (typically 100ml per packet). Flour a flat surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes or until the dough is nicely elasticated. Split the dough into 6 equal parts, roughly 80g each. Take one of the 6 sections of dough and remove 35g and set aside (this will be your pie lid). With the remaining larger piece, roll out on a floured surface so that it is just slightly bigger than your pie dish. Carefully transfer the rolled out dough and place inside the pie dish, you will want the dough to cover the edges.
Take a few spoonfuls of the pie mixture and fill the pie dish. Roll out the remaining 35g of the dough so that it is roughly the size of the pie dish. Carefully lay the dough on top of the pie mixture and pinch around all of the edges to seal the pie lid with the pie base. Use a fork and press down around all of the edges to further seal the dough and to add a nice patern. Use kitchen scissors and snip a small hole in the middle of the pie and brush the top with a little bit of skimmed milk. Repeat this process for the remaining 5 pies.
Place the pies in the oven and cook for 15 minutes then cover tightly in foil and cook for a further 15 minutes. Let the pies sit for a few minutes when cooked before removing the foil. Serve with a side salad and enjoy your pie without feeling guilty! Keep in mind that as this uses pizza base dough and not pastry, it wont be flaky or particularly crunchy. It does however work as a great substitute and tastes amazing. The dough and pie mixture freeze well for future cooking. I only made 3 pies as I only have 3 pie dishes and I froze the remaining 3 dough pieces and pie mixture. If you will be freezing more for future cooking, flatten each piece of dough and wrap in plastic wrap individually. Let the pie mixture cool completely before putting in an air tight container and popping in the freezer. These should all keep for up to 3 months if you wish, but I put a fiver on you wanting to take these back out of the freezer the next day. To thaw, simply place in the fridge and allow to thaw overnight. Let me know if you tried these little beauties and what you think!