First put the stew on. Heat some oil in the largest pan you have over a high heat. Brown the meat in batches so it gets lots of colour on and doesn't steam.
Once that is done, remove the meat and set aside. Turn the heat down, add a little more oil and sweat the onion, carrot, leek and garlic. Do this for about 10 minutes, until soft.
Add the meat back in along with 4 tablespoons of flour. Stir this in to coat the meat and veg.
Now for the stock and Henderson's (or L&P). Toss in the bay leaves, black pepper and bring to boil. Then simmer for 1 hour with the lid on. Don't be alarmed as there is so much liquid - this is going to be your gravy as well.
Now do the pastry. I do mine in a food processor. Simply add roughly chopped chunks of butter to flour and salt. Whizz to breadcrumbs. Then add the water, 4 tablespoons to start, only adding more if needed. Bring together to make a very short dough (don't worry if it's crumbly, once it's chilled it'll be easier to handle). If you're making by hand, rub in the fat into the salted flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then mix in water and bring together to make a dough. Chuck in fridge for about an hour.
Once the meat has stewed for an hour, add your peeled and cubed potatoes. Cook for a further 20 minutes, or until they are cooked but still firm enough not to fall apart.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Using a sieve over a large bowl, carefully strain the mixture of most of the gravy. Put the pie mix into a pie dish and set the gravy to one side. (It will be quite thin still but you can thicken either using a little gravy granules or cornflour and water).
Roll out the pastry. Cover the pie and cut off the extra with a sharp knife. It doesn't matter if it cracks a bit. Mine did. It's more homemade this way, which is a good thing!
Using a fork, crimp the edges to stick the pie down to the dish. Put 2 little slits in the centre of the pastry with a sharp knife, brush with milk or beaten egg to glaze.
Bake for 30 mins on 200C. To thicken the gravy, stir some cornflour and water (about 3 teaspoons, mixed with a little cold water) into it and reheat, stirring every so often. Or do the same with gravy granules.
Watch in amazement how quickly people eat your humongous pie. The greedy gits! ; )