Braised Beef Pie with Thyme Crust
I sometimes get weird ideas in my head and seem to have a little trouble letting them go until I create them. This time it was a meat pie. A little strange, I know.
It actually started as an idea for hand held meat pies (that may still happen at some point ☺). But I sort of lost patience at the end of the day, and just went for the huge shredded beef pie. It was still delicious and cute, just not so portable as I had first imagined!
This is sort of laborious, while also being delightfully “throw in a pot and go about your business”. I did get all kinds of things done while the meat braised away, and then it was just about assembling and baking- not so bad.
I feel like this is a good Sunday dish, especially if you are in one of the cities getting pummeled by another storm. Braised beef is comfort food indeed. Encase it in a pastry crust, and it is at it’s finest ☺
Obviously this is really, really rich. I served it with a simple green salad, and spooned extra sauce on the plate to sop up with the crust. Delicious!
Braised Beef Pie with Thyme Crust
2lbs chuck roast
1 Tbs oil
3 Tbs butter
4 carrots, large dice
1 head celery, each stalk cut in half
2 onions, sliced into thin wedges
4 cups mushrooms, quartered
1 ½ cups red wine (that you would want to drink!)
8 cups beef stock
2 bay leaf
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 recipe of thyme pastry crust
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
Thyme Pastry Crust
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water
2 Tbs thyme leaves
freshly cracked black pepper
1 Tbs water
1 Tbs cream
For the pastry crust, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt.
Pulse in the butter briefly and add the thyme and a few cracks of fresh black pepper.
Stream in ice water and pulse until just a dough and there are still flecks of butter visible in the dough (that is what will make it flakey).
Dump the dough out on to piece of wax paper and form the dough into a disc. Refrigerate.
Salt and pepper the piece of chuck roast.
In a large heavy pot, add the oil and bring the heat to high.
Sear the roast on each side until nice and browned.
Remove the roast and add the butter.
Add the vegetables to the pot and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
Put the meat back in and add the wine and the stock.
Place the bay leaves in the pot and a big sprig of thyme on top of the meat.
Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low.
Simmer for about 3 hours.
Remove the meat and set aside.
With a pair of tongs, remove the celery stalks (which is why we cut such big pieces).
With a Chinese strainer, remove the vegetables and set aside.
Bring the liquid left to a boil and reduce, uncovered, until you just have a few cups of sauce left. This should take 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly season the vegetables with Kosher salt until they taste good. Set aside.
Being careful to remove any pieces of fat or fibrous tissue that didn’t break down, shred the beef with a fork. Reserve the meat, and season with salt until it tastes good.
When the sauce has reduced all the way, it should be slightly thick and very rich in flavor and color. Season it with Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a half sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper and a little cooking spray.
Take the dough from the refrigerator and cut in half.
Roll each half out between wax paper.
(see flecks of butter? That is a good thing ☺)
Place one half on the parchment lined sheet pan.
On top of the dough, pile the beef, and then the vegetables, (onions, carrots and mushrooms).
Spoon sauce over the top and let the meat absorb the sauce. (This will take all of the beef, but only about half of the vegetables.)
Sprinkle with the blue cheese.
Place the 2nd half of the dough over the beef and vegetables and crimp the edges together with the bottom piece of dough.
Cut steam holes in the top (I cut a heart) of the dough.
Make an egg wash with one egg, 1 Tbs of water and 1 Tbs cream. Beat together and lightly brush onto the dough.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
Slice and serve hot!