Here we are in the dead of winter, my least favourite time of the year. What makes it bearable? The food of course, now’s the time to eat all those hearty meals that just don’t work in the warmer months. This recipe for a Beef and Mushroom Pie is not only a winter classic; it’s also one of my favourites too.
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1 tbsp olive oil
1 kg chuck steak
2 tbsp of plain flour, plus extra to dust 800 ml beef stock
4 rosemary sprigs
2 small French shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250g mushrooms sliced
100g of prosciutto
10g dried porcini mushrooms
¼ cup of Cognac (or brandy)
375g block of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg beaten
Preheat a fan forced oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
Cut the chuck steak into even 2.5 - 3 cm pieces.
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and brown the beef in batches.
When all the beef has been browned, return it all to the casserole dish and add the flour. Stir the meat around so that it is all coated and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the stock and the rosemary, put the lid onto the casserole dish and cook in the oven for 3 hours or until the beef is tender.
After putting the meat into the oven you can put your mushrooms on to soak. Place them in a bowl and pour 100ml boiling water over them. Leave them to soak for at least an hour.
Once you have taken the meat from the oven it is time to prepare the other ingredients.
Pick the leaves off the remaining rosemary sprigs.
Finely chop the French shallots and the garlic.
Slice the mushrooms.
Finally, drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid. Finely chop the porcini.
Strain the reserved soaking liquid through a fine sieve lined with a paper towel, to remove any grit.
Slice the prosciutto into 1 cm strips
Melt the butter in a frying pan, over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, French shallots and the rosemary. Cook until softened.
Add the mushrooms and prosciutto. Increase the heat to high and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Mix the chopped porcini, then add the soaking liquid and the brandy. Cook for 3 minutes or until there is no liquid remaining. Season well with black pepper, but no salt.
Combine the mushroom mixture to the beef and mix well.
Spoon the pie mix into 6 small pie dishes or in a larger 1.5l (6 cup) dish and set aside while you work on the pastry.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. To cut the pastry pie tops, use the lid or the dish itself as a template. You need to cut the pie top about 1 cm larger than the top of the pie dish.
Next, from the pastry off cuts, cut a series of 1cm wide strips. They must be long enough to fit around the circumference of your pie dish.
If you can’t get long enough strips with your remaining pastry, it is ok to use several shorter lengths.
To assemble the pie, press the 1cm strip of pastry around the pie dish rim to make a collar.
Brush the collar with egg then cover with the pastry pie lid. Press the edges together with the collar firmly to make sure there is a good seel.
Brush the top of the pie with egg and cut a 1cm hole in the centre of the lid to allow the steam produced during the final bake to escape.
Next chill for about 20 minutes.
To finish off, pre-heat a fan forced oven at 180 degrees Celsius and bake for 20- 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Recipe By Tatiana, Flavoursome Delights
Total time including refrigeration:
Yield: 6 servings