Beef pie with red wine, fennel and green olives recipe

You'll love this Australian favourite of beef pie with seasonal flavours.

Serves: 8

Ingredients

Plain flour, for dusting

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

1 kg Coorong Angus Beef chuck, or other quality beef chuck, cut into 3 cm cubes

Extra virgin olive oil, for cooking

400 ml shiraz

1 medium–large fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped

400 g golden shallots, peeled

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups (500 ml) veal stock or golden chicken stock (recipe below)

1 sprig rosemary

6 sprigs thyme

2 fresh bay leaves

Finely chopped rind of 1 orange

16 green olives, pitted

1 × quantity sour-cream pastry (recipe below)

1 egg, beaten

Method

1. Season the flour with salt and pepper, then toss the meat in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. In a large deep frying pan, seal the meat in olive oil over high heat in small batches until all the meat is browned.

2. Heat a crockpot to its highest setting, then transfer the sealed meat to it. Deglaze the frying pan with the wine, reducing it by three-quarters over high heat, then add the wine to the crockpot. Return the frying pan to the stove, then add more olive oil and sauté the fennel and shallots over medium heat for 6–8 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the vegetables to the crockpot, then add stock to the frying pan, bring to a rapid boil over high heat then add it to the crockpot with the herbs. Cook on the highest setting for 30 minutes, then turn to the lowest setting and cook at this low temperature for about 6 hours (or even overnight), until the meat is melt-in-the-mouth tender, adding the orange rind and olives in the last 20 minutes. Let the beef mixture cool.

4. Meanwhile, make and chill the pastry as instructed.

5. To assemble the pies, roll pastry to a 5 mm thickness and cut to fit the bases of 8 individual pie tins (you can buy standard-sized disposable foil pie tins from the supermarket). Make sure the pastry bases overhang the lips of the pie tins, and brush the bases with beaten egg, to help seal in the juices. Cut out the pastry tops.

6. Divide the beef mixture among the pie tins and cover with the pastry tops. Fold the edges of the pastry to seal, then brush the tops of the pies with beaten egg. Return the pies to the refrigerator for the pastry to really set; about 15 minutes.

7. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the pie tins on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Sour-cream pastry 

Makes: Enough to line a 20-24cm tart tin

Ingredients

200 g chilled unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces

250 g plain flour

120 g sour cream

Method

1. Put the butter and flour into the bowl of a food processor, then pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream and pulse again until the dough just forms a ball. If shrinkage worries you, gather the dough into a ball with your hands and bounce it on the bench. Carefully wrap the dough in plastic film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 15–20 minutes.

2. Roll out the dough until it is 5 mm thick, then use it to line a 20 cm tart tin with a removable base. Chill the pastry case for 20 minutes.

3. To blind bake, preheat the oven to 200°C. Line the pastry case with foil, then cover with pastry weights. Blind bake the pastry case for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and pastry weights and bake for another 5 minutes.

Golden chicken stock

Makes: about two litres

Ingredients 

1 large boiling chicken (about 2.2 kg), cut into pieces (if you are using bones only, you will need 3 kg)

2 large onions, unpeeled and halved

1 large carrot, roughly chopped

Extra virgin olive oil, for cooking

100 ml white wine (optional)

1 large leek, trimmed, cleaned and roughly chopped

1 stick celery, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf

6 sprigs thyme

6 stalks flat-leaf parsley

1 head garlic, halved widthways

2 very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

Recipe from Maggie Beer’s Autumn Harvest (Penguin Books, $29.99).

Recommended reading - Issue Twelve Winter 2015

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