A lundi, j’ai fait cuire comme les francais. Or en anglais, on Monday I cooked like the French.
Most of the recipes I try, I base my decision to cook them on their pictures and the ingredient list. In most cases, that is enough. But from now on I will always read through the entire recipe before I promise my family I will make it. So this weekend, I pulled out my Great Tastes French cookbook and found a delicious looking recipe for beef and red wine pies. I looked at the picture and the ingredient list and thought it was something I could handle. I get home from work on Monday and open the book again and this time I actually read the recipe. Here’s what I find… “simmer for 1 hour, add carrots… simmer for another 45 minutes, assemble pies… cook for 25 more minutes.” So not including prep time (chopping meat, onions, carrots, garlic), the dish is going to take more than 2 hours to cook. When I come to this realization it is already 5:45 p.m. and my mom is already on her way to my house with our newly purchased mini pie tins and all the ingredients. We forged ahead and let me tell you, the pies were well worth the wait.
Beef and Red Wine Pies (from Great Tastes French)
1/4 cup oil
3 lbs 5 0z chuck steak, cubed (I saved some money here and used venison chuck steaks)
2 onions chopped (I used one very large yellow onion and it was plenty)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups good-quality (that’s right, it stipulates this in the ingredient list) dry red wine
2 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs (I didn’t have these so when the time came, I just added some dried Thyme)
2 carrots chopped
2 pie crusts
Ready-made puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Grease six metal mini pie tins.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan and brown the steak in batches. Remove the pan. Heat remaining oil in the pan, add onion and garlic and stir over medium heat until golden brown. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes, or until well browned. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in wine and stock.
3. Return to heat and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Return the meat to the pan, add the bay leaves and thyme and simmer for 1 hour.
4. Add the carrot and simmer for anther 45 minutes., or until the sauce has thickened. Season, then remove the bay leaves and thyme. Allow to cool.
5. Preheat oven 400 degrees. Cut circles out of pie crust to line the base and sides of each pie tin. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly brown. (To prevent the dough from puffing up, line tins with parchment paper and fill with baking beads or uncooked rice. I had none of these things, so I just let them puff). Let cool.
6. Cut circles out of the puff pastry to fit the tops of the pie tins. Divid filling among the pies and brush the edges with some of the beaten egg. Cover with the puff pastry and press the edges with a fork to seal. Cut a slit in the top of each pie and brush with remaining beaten egg.
7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown.