Jamie Oliver's Pastry Cheat For Comforting Steak Pie

Puff pastry is one of those things almost everyone loves until they have to make it themselves. Though this light, laminated dough is wonderful and flaky when baked, it is a total chore to make. However, there are some things that just require its presence. What would a classic, comforting steak pie be without that puff pastry crust, for instance? If you love steak pie, but are one for avoiding making puff pastry from scratch, Jamie Oliver has a little cheat you should follow.

In his recipe for steak pie from the 2007 series "Jamie at Home," Oliver swaps traditional homemade puff pastry for a sheet of thawed store-bought pastry dough. He slices away a third of the pastry, using the larger two-thirds for the base of his pie. Once the dough is laid over the pie dish and the steak and cheddar filling is added, Oliver takes the remaining third and rolls it out to be used as the pastry lid of his pie. The lid is given an egg wash, placed over the top, and then attached around the edges before the pie is baked in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes until it is golden brown. 

As Oliver is all about making cooking accessible and enjoyable, cheating with frozen puff pastry is a no-brainer. There is none of the mixing, chilling, and laminating that's normally required, making store-bought puff pastry a great way to save you time and aggravation in the kitchen. 

Benefits of cheating with frozen puff pastry

While homemade puff pastry makes more sense in terms of cost, frozen puff pastry is worth the extra money considering how much time it will save you in the kitchen. Making puff pastry in your own kitchen requires the right temperature and a lot of patience. Beating out the dough when it is cold out of the fridge and folding it is a fantastic way to let out pent-up aggression, but you must fold it over and over again in order for you to achieve enough layers to get a properly laminated dough that will be crispy and flaky when baked — and that could take several hours.

With the frozen stuff, all you need to do is let it thaw for thirty minutes and you're good to go. That's what makes Oliver's steak pie meal one that takes about an hour instead of three. Frozen puff pastry is a quick, easy, and flavorful alternative to making a type of pastry dough many of us shy away from in the first place. And it's not like you're getting some cheap knockoff of the real deal; in fact, premade puff pastry might even be better tasting and easier to work with than the stuff you could make at home. So, it's not like you're getting cheated. If anything, you, like Oliver, are the one doing the cheating.