Friday, January 21, 2011

Steak & kidney pie

More of a stew than an actual pie. It's a meat stew with pastry on top. The quantities below are for 3 people.

The filling

500 gram stewing beef, 250 gram ox kidney, 175 gram mushrooms, 50 grams of plain flour, one big onion, 700 ml. beef stock, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf and a spoon of tomato paste.

An ox liver weighs around 600 gram. If you use a whole kidney you need around 1200 gram beef.

Cut the beef, kidney, mushrooms and onion like this:

Coat the beef in about 80 grams of plain flower.

Fry the kidney light brown (this takes a couple of minutes), fry the beef golden-brown, the onion for about 10 minutes and the mushrooms for just a couple of minutes until they are light brown. Drain the ingredients from excess fat.

Add all the ingredients in a casserole, including the flower you used to coat the beef. This will make the gravy thick. Use proper beef stock and not a cube.

Stew in the oven at 160 degrees for 1,5 hours. Cool.

The pastry

Crumble 140 gram cold butter in 250 gram plain flower and a pinch of salt. Kneed the flower and butter until it crumbles. Add one egg yolk whisked together with 3 tablespoons water. Kneed until you have a firm ball. Cool in the fridge for at least one hour.

The assembly

Buy a proper pie dish. The dish used in the photo's is not ideal to say the least. Take the dough and flatten it. Cut out the shape of the pie dish and add an extra 1 cm all round. Cut out 6 cm-wide strips of pastry to go round the rim of the dish.

Butter the rim of the dish and line it with the strips of pastry. Carefully pour in the filling. You can use a so called 'pie raiser' in the middle to prevent the pastry form collapsing on the meat stew. I used a small inverted glass.

Drape the pastry lid over and coat it with egg was (whisk one egg together with a tablespoon of milk). Make a few slashes in the lid of the pie.

Preheat the over at 200 degrees. Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 200 degrees and a further 20 minutes at 180 degrees.

The result

You need a proper pie dish to make it look nice.

But this was actually incredibly tasty.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Boeuf Bourguignon

A beef stew in red wine.

My version starts with marinating the beef overnight. Cut 1 kilo of beef (700 gram in my case) in bite sized chunks. Add 1 bottle of dry red wine, like a pinot noir, 2 onions cut finely, a carrot (cut), parsley, sage and thyme, and crushed black pepper. For extra flavor add a glass of grappa or cognac. Marinate in the fridge.

The next day take out the beef and set aside. Filter the marinate.

Pat the beef as dry as possible.

In a heavy iron pot heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the meat in small batches.

In the meantime heat the marinate.

When all the meat is browned add the marinate (filter again if you see foam like on the photo below).

Make a roux. Three tablespoons of butter and three tablespoons of flower will do.

Add some fresh parsley, sage and thyme to the stew and the roux. Simmer for two hours or more.

Prepare the garnish. Cut 150 gram smoked bacon in small strips and fry in its own fat. Remove and fry 200 gram sliced mushrooms in the remaining fat. Remove and fry 400 gram pearl onions if available (I used shallots) until slightly browned.

Add the bacon, mushrooms and onion to the meat and simmer for another half hour. Taste for salt.

Let it cool down and reheat. Serve with boiled potatoes, a pinot noir and green salad.