Beef and Red Wine Pasties
For the beef and red wine stew:
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl plain flour
300 gms shin beef cut into small pieces
4 eschallots, chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
1 glass red wine
1 tsp vegemite dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
Sea salt, black pepper and a big pinch of sugar to season
For the rough puff pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch of sea salt
2/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for glazing
Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole on the stove top. Dust the beef pieces in the flour by placing both in a zip lock bag and shake.
Fry the beef in small quantities to avoid “stewing” the meat, until brown on all sides. Remove the beef to a plate, add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, and fry the eschallots and carrot.
Return the meat to the casserole. Add the tomatoes, roughly chopping as you mix in to the casserole. Add the red wine and vegemite and water.
Season to taste.
Cook on a medium heat with lid off for 5 minutes, then transfer the casserole, with lid on, to the pre-heated oven. Cook for about 1. 5 hours or until beef is very tender.
Remove from oven, leave to cool before filling pasties. The stew can be refrigerated or frozen until you are ready to use.
Rough Puff Pastry (This recipe is Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s from River Cottage Everyday – and I think it is much better than the recipe I described in my Custard Slice post).
Mix the flour with the salt, then add the cubed butter and toss until the pieces are coated with flour. Stir in just enough ice water (8 to 10 tablespoons) to bring the mixture together into a fairly firm dough.
Shape the dough into a rectangle with your hands and, on a well-floured surface, roll it out in one direction, away from you, so you end up with a rectangle about 3/8 inch thick. Fold the far third towards you, then fold the nearest third over that (rather like folding a business letter), so that you now have a rectangle made up of 3 equal layers. Give the pastry a quarter-turn, then repeat the rolling, folding, and turning process 5 more times. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and rest it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or up to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 3mm thick. Using a plate or a cake tin as a template, cut out four 20cm circles; you may have to gather up the trimmings and re-roll them to get your fourth circle.
Spoon the stew on to one half of each circle. Brush the pastry edges with water, fold the other half of the pastry over the filling to form a half-moon shape and crimp well to seal.
Place the pasties on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Eat pasties warm or cold.
Ham, Leek and Mushroom Baby Pies
3 sheets ready rolled butter puff pastry *
1 egg +1 tbs water mixed together for an egg wash
1 tbl butter
1 tbl plain flour
1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
Handful of grated cheddar cheese
Sea salt to season
A knob of butter
1 medium size leek, sliced thinly
6 button mushrooms sliced thinly
150 gms free range leg ham
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C.
Cut circles from 2 of the puff pastry sheets with a cutter or plate as guide, big enough to line the holes in a regular muffin tin. Grease the holes, and gently ease the pastry circles into the holes. These pies are rustic, so a perfect fit isn’t important. Brush each pastry circle with the egg wash.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the pastry is lightly brown and puffed. Remove from the oven to cool.
While the pastry is cooling, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the flour, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon to make sure there are no lumps. Cook the flour out for a minute or so. Add the milk, and cook gently, stirring all the time, until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese and salt to taste, stirring until cheese is well incorporated.
For the filling, heat the butter in frying pan, sweat the leeks with a little sea salt until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are just softened also. Roughly chop the ham. Combine the filings ingredients in a bowl with the white sauce. You may not need all the white sauce – remember you don’t want the pie filling too sloppy.
Fill the pastry cases with a generous amount of the filling. Cut out circles from the remaining puff pastry sheet, big enough to cover each pie. Brush the lids with more egg wash.
Return the pies to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the pastry lids are lightly brown and puffed.
Serve warm or cold – delicious either way!
* NOTE You can re-roll any left over scraps of pastry both for the pastry cases and lids. And if you really find you don’t have quite enough pastry, then just use another sheet.