ZoBird’s version of the Pieminister Matador!

Pieminister at London Bridge!

Some very exciting things happened this week!  Firstly I broke up for half term; whoooop says all fellow teachers, ‘lazy gits’ scowls everyone else!  Secondly I went to London with a friend to see our mate Rachael who moved down there a couple of months ago. Thirdly we went to Pieminister!!!!!  If you’ve never been here you MUST go, the pies are epic, with amazing flavour combinations, perfect accompaniments and lovely friendly staff…a visit should be compulsory when you visit London.  As you can see in the picture above I got very excited to be there and after purchasing the Matador decided I would need to make this myself at home.

Pie fit for hungry men…and women :)

Grant’s a man of meat and a firm believer that this staple needs to be in every meal else it’s not technically a meal…it appears that this has rubbed off on me and so the Matador was the perfect pie to induce meat sweats!  For our engagement our lovely friends bought us the Pieminister book:

A book every pie-fiend needs!

Crammed full of tasty recipes, tips and pastry combos it’s a great purchase…However tragedy struck when I couldn’t find the Matador recipe in the book :(  That’s fine I thought…i’ll experiment and see what I can create.  Below is my concoction and if I do say so myself…a bloody tasty concoction at that!  It is a mixture of what I tasted in the Matador combined with their recipe for pork, chorizo & prawn pies.  I didn’t include olives as Grant doesn’t like them but the beauty of this pie is that you can add and omit things easily…remove butter beans if you’re not a fan or include olives if you want that extra Spanish kick!

Ingredients (makes 2 substantial and hearty pies)


  • 350g Stewing Steak
  • Half a chorizo ring (about 100g, skinned and chopped)
  • 1 small can of butter beans (optional)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 150ml sherry
  • 2tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 can of plum tomatoes (blitzed with a hand blender)
  • 300ml beef stock

Sour Cream Pastry (Pieminister recipe)

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 125g Willow or butter
  • 75ml sour cream (or as much to bind it)


  • Heat some olive oil in a pan and dice the red onion up.  Gently fry off the onions with the garlic (also chopped small).  Leave for about 5mins but don’t let them burn or catch.
  • Chop up your stewing steak, ensuring you get rid of any fatty bits.
  • Add this to the pan and increase the temperature so that the meat can start to brown all over – this should take about 5mins or so.
  • Now add the chorizo and let the beautiful juices and oils mingle…it will likely give the whole pans contents a red tinge.
  • Now at this point try to resist eating the chorizo and instead add the dried herbs.  Stir it all together so everything gets equally covered and then pour in the sherry. Simmer until it has reduced by half.   This will take about 5-10mins.
  • Now you can add your wazzed up tomatoes with the chicken stock.  This will seem very watery at this stage but don’t panic, you will now bring this to the boil and then leave to simmer on a low heat for about an hour.
  • Keep checking on it to make sure nothing sticks or boils down too much.
  • Check for flavour and add salt/pepper if required.
  • Drain your butter beans and add to the pan, stirring them through.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the stew to cool fully.
  • Meanwhile you can make your sour cream pastry.
  • Alike shortcrust this pastry appreciates bold handling, so don’t panic it’s really easy to grasp.
  • Put the Willow/butter in to  metal bowl with the flour.
  • Rub the ingredients together with your fingertips until you get a breadcrumb-like consistency.
  • Now gradually add your sour cream, stirring if you prefer;  use my hands but it does get very messy.
  • You may need more/less than i’ve stated above but only add it until the pastry ‘just’ comes together.
  • Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30mins.
  • Heat the oven to 180degrees.
  • Roll out on cling film to prevent it sticking to a work surface, until it’s about 3mm thick.
  • Grease 2 large pie dishes or tins and then line them with the pastry.
  • Scoop in your cold stew, ensuring you divide beef chorizo etc equally.
  • Add a pie lid and crimp around the edge.
  • I decorated mine with initials, Spanish moustaches and horns (for the beef)but you can just leave them plain.
  • Brush with beaten egg and put in the centre of the oven for 30mins.
  • Leave to cool before turning out of the dishes.  Alternatively serve them in the dishes on the plate

I left the pies to cool and then reheated them for 15mins before serving.  Pieminister recommends serving with mash, minted mushy peas, gravy and occasionally with crispy onions and grated cheese.  Due to how HUGE these pies ended up being I served ours with canned mushy peas which I added a large dollop of mint sauce to along with oven roasted parsnips as the pastry alone was going to be very filling.

Served with mushy peas, parsnips and gravy…oh yeah and beer!

All good pies should be devoured with beer and enjoyed for every meaty morsel!  We just happened to have Spitfire in the fridge which aptly had a moustache on for the start of Movember.

Enjoy with or without a moustache but be sure to enjoy it, be you a carnivorous man, woman or child!

Hapy savoury snacking

ZoBird x :)

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