There are many things I love about Luckett Vineyard, but the newest is that they shared this steak and mushroom pie recipe, so I can make it when I’m not in Nova Scotia.
Without a doubt, the most well known winery in Nova Scotia is Luckett Vineyard. It’s been around since 2010 but has changed SO much since I first visited nine years ago.
To locals it’s known as Pete Luckett’s winery. Originally from England, Pete Luckett is a beloved Nova Scotia legend even though he’s technically come from away.
I first saw Pete Luckett in the 90s on television where he twice a week he introduced a new fruit or vegetable on the news.
He later owned a series of successful Pete’s Frootiques that I loved with international products. But he sold it all to open a winery.
The wine industry jokes that to have a winery make 1 million dollars you need to start with 2 million dollars.
So if you’re going to get into wine, you better do it well.
And Luckett Vineyard does it very well.
Luckett Vineyard continues to hold my attention, just as Pete did on television back in the 90s. It manages to blend the history of culture of Nova Scotia with international influences in a way that makes it truly memorable.
As a traveler I love coming home and tasting their interpretation of Nova Scotia’s unique grape varietals. But I also end up spending so much time looking at their grocery pantry, which sells international and local products I’ve never seen before.
And while the business is successful and quite a bit larger than other wineries in Nova Scotia, the staff maintain the typical Maritime hospitality that locals expect.
Luckett Vineyard Tasting Fees:
$12 to try 5 from the core selection of reds, whites or rosé OR three premium collection of reds, whites or specialty dessert wines.
Nearly ten years after opening it is the largest producer of wine in the Annapolis Valley. A family-run business you still see Pete and family members working. This is refreshing because I’ve visited lots of large conglomerate businesses that are technically family owned but they don’t feel like it.
Luckett Vineyard is also home to Crush Pad Bistro, its restaurant that looks out onto the vineyard with a gorgeous view of the valley and the Blomidon Penninsula.
I would absolutely recommend it as one of the best restaurants in Nova Scotia. I can honestly say I’ve never had a bad experience at Luckett’s. I’ve always enjoyed the food service and wine.
Even when we took the Magic Wine Bus and it poured rain the entire time. We still had a fantastic time. We sat outside underneath the tent, staff folded up the front flaps so we could still have a view in the rain.
And the food is consistently good.
Our first visit this year we tried the roast beef sandwich which was fantastic.
I also loved the seafood chowder but I already have 3 chowder recipes on my site so I didn’t ask for the recipe.
Nova Scotia Seafood Chowder
PEI Mussel Chowder
PEI Seafood Chowder with an Italian Twist
Our last visit my mother ordered the steak and mushroom pie. The dish is a culinary nod to Pete’s British heritage. The individual pot pie has slow roasted beef, sautéed mushroom and onion, celery, carrots, fresh herbs and Black Cab gravy.
I honestly didn’t expect much. I find pot pies usually use off cuts of meat that don’t taste very good. This was the best beef pot pie I’ve ever tried.
Sadly it wasn’t my order – but my mothers. So I only took a few bites instead of having more. After all I was enjoying Tidal Bay wine and the seafood chowder.
When I got home I kept thinking about the steak pot pie. It was just so much better than anything I’ve elsewhere.
Thankfully they obliged to sending me the recipe.
I did not ask for the pastry portion because I love to cook but I hate working with dough.
And I mean all dough. I hate bread dough. I hate cookie dough. Also I hate pasta dough.
I don’t want to deal with it at all.
Every Christmas I make my mother turkey pot pies with the leftovers. It’s easy as I make a whole turkey in the Instant Pot. I use frozen pie crust and even that usually leaves me swearing in the kitchen toward the end.
But the ends are worth the means right? Because I make enough individual pot pies to freeze for the months ahead.
Enough of my dough rant – use whatever pastry crust you feel comfortable with. It can be frozen shortcrust pastry, puffed pastry or make it from scratch.
Pairing Wine with Steak and Mushroom Pie
Geena Luckett, the General Manager at Luckett Vineyards recommends The Old Bill.
This isn’t surprising as The Old Bill was once called Black Cab (another British reference) and is the wine they use in this beef pie recipe.
If you’re looking for a full-bodied red and a powerful tannic-structure with spicy robust flavour you’ll love it. It is a blend of dried Cabernet Foch, Castel, Lucie Kuhlmann and Precoce – haven’t heard of these varietals – check out my guide to Nova Scotia wine.
Steak and Mushroom Pie Recipe
- 900g Beef inside round, medium dice
- 75ml Olive oil
- 200g Celery, medium dice
- 400g Onion, medium dice
- 200g Mushroom, quartered
- 200g Carrot, medium dice
- 750ml Water
- 250ml Luckett Vineyard Old Bill red wine
- 1 Tbsp Thyme, fresh
- 2 Tsp Rosemary, fresh
- 175g All purpose white flour
- 150g Unsalted butter
- 250ml Beef stock
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
Preheat oven to 375F.
Mix together olive oil, diced beef, salt and pepper. Spread flat on sheet pan and cook in oven at 375 degrees until browning occurs. Remove from oven and turn heat to 350F.
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, sauté celery, carrots and onions until tender, add mushrooms, thyme and rosemary and continue to cook until mushrooms have softened. Deglaze with red wine, by pouring wine into pan and using spatula to dig up the bits on the pan.
Add cooked beef to vegetables. Add water and bring to a boil.
While this is happening make roux: Over medium low heat melt butter in pot on stove and add flour. Stir to combine Cook roux for approximate 3-4 minutes.
Add some beef stock slowly to the roux and whisk vigorously to avoid lumping.
Mix everything together and let cool.
Add beef filling to pastry lined pie plate, brush edges with egg yolk. Top with pie crust and brush with egg yolk. Make 2-3 cuts in centre to allow air to vent.
Cook at 350F until golden brown. If you're using packaged crust check the time on the box. Puffed pastry can be as quick as 20 minutes, other pie pastry takes longer.
For an easy weeknight meal make the filling a few days in advance. When ready bring it to room temperature and and add to pastry.
You can also freeze these pies for future use
What Kind of Pastry Should I Use?
This is really a personal preference of a traditional shortcrust pie pastry vs a puff pastry. Whatever you use just check out the box to see how long you need to cook it and any additional instructions.
Do I Need Pastry on the Top and Bottom?
As you know, I hate making pastry for pies. But also, I don’t love eating it either. You can make the top and bottom and remove it from the pie plate. Or just make a top pastry crust and eat it from the pie dish – this is my favourite as I only need a bit of pot pie crust.
What if I Don’t Have Beef Stock?
You can also use vegetable stock, chicken stock or even water.
Pin it For Later: Beef Pot Pie
Disclosure: This steak and mushroom pie recipe is part of a series in partnership with Visit Nova Scotia. One of my favourite paid programs, I was tasked to explore where I grew up and share the best of it. And this beef pot pie was definitely a highlight and I’m selfishly thrilled to have the recipe.