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Crispy Topped Manx Pie Recipe

Crispy Topped Manx Pie

Rating 5-0 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again

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Crispy Topped Manx Pie is a crisp, potato-topped pie that is slow-cooked and really inexpensive to make. It's a great family meal (but smart enough for entertaining too) and pretty well cooks itself without much help from the chef!

To me, braising beef is a great way to make wonderful winter meals where the house smells warm and inviting for hours. And then, when you finally get to eat the meal, it's so tender you can pull it apart with a fork. It's hot and delicious comfort food - and so what!

Braising is also a great way to break down the tough connective tissues in meat, and can turn even the toughest (least expensive) cuts of beef into a meal that will melt in your mouth. And that's why I've called it Manx pie... because us Manx folk know a good deal when we see one.

      Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes

Ingredients for Crispy Topped Manx Pie

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 6:
2 sticks
1 large
3 large
bay leaves
3 sprigs
3 tablespoons
vegetable oil
1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons
plain flour (all-purpose flour)
2 tablespoons
Worcestershire sauce
2 level tablespoons
tomato purée (concentrated tomato paste)
beef stock cubes
2 lb
braising steak (chuck steak)
3 lb
salt and pepper
2 oz
mature cheddar cheese
2 oz
Parmesan cheese


How to Cook Crispy Topped Manx Pie

  1. Cut the celery into lengths of about ½" (1cm). Peel and chop the onion. Peel the carrots, halve them lengthways then cut them into rough, chunky, pieces. Place the celery, onon and carrots into a large casserole dish along with the bay leaves and 1 of the sprigs of thyme. Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes to soften the vegetables. Stir in the flour, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée (concentrated tomato paste) and crumble in the beef stock cubes. Gradually stir in 1 pint (600ml) of hot water.
  2. Cut the meat into large chunks and add to the casserole. Season with salt and freshly-ground black pepper then bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook in a preheated moderate oven (Mk 3 - 325ºF - 170ºC) for 2½ hours. Remove the lid and cook for a further 30-60 minutes until the meat is really tender and the sauce has thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and cook the potatoes (whole) in a pan of boiling, salted water until they're about ¾ cooked (normally about 15 minutes).
  4. As the potatoes are cooling, finely grate both sorts of cheese. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them into ½" (1cm) thick rounds and gently toss them in the remaining oil and thyme leaves. Season well with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and lay on top of the beef, scattering with the cheeses as you layer. (You can split the beef into individual dishes before adding the potatoes and cheese, to make individual pies, if you wish)
  5. Increase the oven to moderately hot (Mk 6 - 400ºF - 200ºC) and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and crispy, Serve hot with peas or winter greens.

After preparing this dish (but before the final 30-40 minutes in the oven) you can cover and chill the pie for up to 24 hours, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months. When you reheat, ensure that the sauce is bubbling before serving.
GRAHAM'S WINE RECOMMENDATION: GrahamA good full-bodied red wine like a Chateau Neuf du Pape works well with this rich meat dish. I have a few bottles of 1999 vintage 'Domaine de la Solitude' just begging me to cook a Crispy Topped Manx Pie!
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Reviews of Crispy Topped Manx Pie

Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again July 16 2014
My entire family - even my very picky 4 year old - loved it - I added a bunch of extra veggies (parsnip, extra carrots and mushrooms) because we needed to use them before leaving town for a few days. This was fabulous with little hands-on time, I even had time to build a rocket ship with my son while it was cooking!
(2 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again April 09 2013
This is now my "go to" recipe for beef stew (yeah, I know, you called it something else!!). It looks like there are a lot of ingredients but actually it's simple - and delicious! I've tried using beef broth instead of water, but it doesn't need it. The gravy is rich enough and tasty enough without it. If you want thicker gravy, you can always stir in a cornstarch mixture before adding the potatoes on top. In honesty, when I've followed this recipe exactly, it made the most awesome and delicious stew. No need to make any changes. Everyone loved it, and it will be a regularly served meal in my house.
(4 reviews)

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