Beef, Stout and Oyster Hatties or pie served with refined mushy peas was the fifth course of my medieval Christmas in July degustation dinner party. Did you know that in the East End of London many years back before pollution marred the oyster beds, they were considered poor mans food?
They were stuffed in pies called Hatties. That’s what they called pies before they were pies like we knew them today. They called them Hatties because they were made upside down. There was a flat piece of pastry used for the base; the filling was piled on top then another layer of pastry was used on the top to enclose the pie.
They were called Hatties because their shape resembled a hat. Love a good pie.
Beef, Stout and Oyster Hatties
- 1½ kg oyster blade steak
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 stick celery roughly sliced
- 2 Tbs Ketchup Manis (sticky soy)
- 250 g oyster mushrooms
- 1 tsp thyme chopped
- 2 small bay leaves
- 800 ml beef stock
- stout (Guinness) or Waynes (hubby's) milk stout in this case ½ bottle
- 80 g butter
- 60 g plain flour
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil (evoo) for frying
- 16 fresher shucked oysters
- Lard pastry
- ¾ cup cold water
- 200 g plain flour
- 200 g self-raising flour
- 50 g lard
- 150g butter
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat a little olive oil in a large heavy based saute pan, season the oyster blade and then seal on all sides, cooking the meat in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
- In a separate pan or after you've finished the meat, caramelize the chopped onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms.
- Add the beef to the vegetables, add the flour and stir for a few minutes until the flour is well distributed, then add the stout. Lastly, add the sticky soy. Pop a lid on and put into the oven at 180C for two hours. Use the stock if you feel that it needs to be moistened further, or add during the cooking if it becomes too dry.
- Once cooked leave the mixture to cool completely (overnight would be best) before you start making the pies.
- To make Lard Pastry, combine flours and salt, rub in lard with your fingers till it is at fine crumb stage, or use a food processor. Slowly add water to bring it together, kneading for 2-3 Mins. Chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry and line small pie tins, (or make them hat shaped) half fill with meat mixture, pop in 2 oysters per pie, fill with more meat mixture and then cover the meat with a pastry top. Cut a slit in the middle of the pastry top to let steam escape. Brush the pies with egg wash and into the oven for 15 minutes at 220C then turn the heat down to 200C for a further 10 minutes.
If you don’t like oysters just leave them out. The pies taste great without them too.