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beef, mushroom & red wine pie

May 2, 2011

I was bright and happy. Perky, even.

And then, with no explanation at all, I crashed. Spent three days incapacitated. In bed and facing a wall of exhaustion and anxiety coupled with a rather perplexing case of being totally unable to stand upright for more than a couple of minutes without falling over.

It was bizarre I tell you. More so because, after doing as many tests as a lab rodent, nothing was wrong with me.

Well, except for those crazy symptoms.

So I treated myself the only way I knew how. And that way involved sleep, sun and a sneaky drink or two. (The last one doesn’t usually come recommended by medical professionals, but I’m no doctor and I was sick of being involuntarily incapacitated. Voluntary semi-incapacitation seemed a far better option).

So sneaky, in fact, that this pie I baked in the course of my recovery got a little look in too.

Let me tell you something about pies and I. We’re tight. Not super tight, but close enough.

Let’s just say if pie was a person, it’d be sitting just outside my inner circle of friends. You know who I’m talking about. The type that would be on your (metaphorical) wedding guest list without a word being said, but not necessarily the type you’d go on a three week overseas holiday with. Because (stick with me here) even though you lovelovelove its company and that wonderful warm fuzzy feeling it gives you when its around, it has the propensity to turn into a time eating, inconsiderate, chronic over-stayer if left to its own devices.

The kind that will unconsciously eat your afternoon alive with promises of “Oh no! I won’t be any trouble. You seriously don’t need to entertain me – just go and do your thing and I’ll be here when you’re back”.

Or with a sly “Look, you don’t really have to make my crust from scratch. Just stick with some prepackaged stuff. I won’t look down on you for it. I mean, it’d taste better, but it’s really your choice.”

And then, just when you’re ready to un-friend that good-for-nothing menace on facebook and ignore its twitter feeds, it’s out of the oven and smelling and tasting wonderful. It’s gushed over by your family and friends. It freezes beautifully and reheats as if it had just come out of the oven.

So all is forgiven and dreams of re-igniting the pie-from-scratch flame start to invade your thoughts.

Well, maybe just mine.

beef, mushroom & red wine pie
 

Store bought pastry is ok for this recipe
Ingredients
  • 1kg chuck steak
  • 4tbsp plain flour
  • 2tsp smoky paprika
  • 1tbsp black pepper
  • 2tsp salt
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (410g tin)
  • 375ml red wine
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 400g chopped mushrooms
  • shortcrust pastry for the base
  • puff pastry for the top

How to make it
  1. Step by step instructions with pictures below

how to do it:

1. Cube the chuck steak so that you have pieces no bigger than the size of your nose. I’m talking adult noses here, not childrens’. About 2cm cubed max. If you have a large nose. Toss the beef in the plain flour, paprika, black pepper and salt mix. Yes that’s a lot of black pepper. I like pepper. You can dial it down if you like.

2. Brown the beef in an oven proof dish in two batches (or more depending on the size of your pot). I’ve used a tablespoon of oil for each batch I browned. Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.

3. Dice the onion and garlic. Toss it in the ovenproof dish and cook until it starts to go translucent. You don’t want it to brown or burn just yet.

4. Add the tinned tomatoes, wine and beef stock. Cook it down until 1/3 has evaporated then toss the beef, thyme and mushrooms in. Pop a lid on the top and bake in a 180C for at least 2 hours. Three would be better.

5. Remove the dish from the oven.

6. Blind bake a short crust pastry shell (I used a galette pastry base because I’m crazy, but it tasted awesome) fill with beef stew and top with a puff pastry lid. Consume.


  • #1
    May 2nd, 2011

    Honestly, sometimes a good glass of red takes the edge off the panic, no matter what they say.

    xx

    take care

  • #2
    Melinda Kusuma
    May 2nd, 2011

    You are crazy..crazy beautiful that is. In your distress you actually bring sunshine to this cold autumn with your honesty, wit and a recipe! I’ll try baking this pie and hope it’ll be remotely as delicious as anything you’ve baked.

  • #3
    May 3rd, 2011

    Ooh, I love how you label the pie. That’s awesome! So darling!

  • #4
    May 3rd, 2011

    You’re not the only one that sneaks a drink or two when they’re on the unhealthy side. I’m sure the drink is what speeds up the healing process. My theory, anyway.
    Lady, you can bake me a pie any day, and when I saw that you used store-bought shortcrust I was relieved. Who’s got the time?

  • #5
    May 3rd, 2011

    @john: I hear you! Y’know, I nearly went mad after making a buttery fall apart delicious pastry base for this pie. Was going to make a faux-puff pastry top as well but ended up retreating to my freezer… which is why I recommended the store bought. It won’t be as deliciously perfect, but you’ll have a pie sans-crazy and that’s all that really matters sometimes :)

  • #6
    May 3rd, 2011

    Beef and mushrooms are my favourite things in the entire world! They look so cute and tasty… craving now.

  • #7
    May 3rd, 2011

    LOVE LOVE LOVE you friendship with pie! What great photos!

  • #8
    May 3rd, 2011

    I love the Pie Pie Pie display! I bet the mini ones would look awesome out on a picnic.

  • #9
    May 3rd, 2011

    My dad swears by gin as the cure of all ills. Honestly though your pies look pretty therapeutic.

  • #10
    bigbite
    May 4th, 2011

    oh… what a privilege position. I had 2 servings over a few days and still yearn for more. Tell me when you have ‘cuh-razy symptoms’ again.. I’ll remind you whats good for you & me. Pie and more pies!

  • #11
    May 4th, 2011

    It was great to meet you tonight Shirley. Your site is beautiful! :)

  • #12
    May 6th, 2011

    I don’t even eat beef but these pies look delicious!… Who ate all the pies??!!

  • #13
    May 9th, 2011

    PIEPIEPIEPIEILOVEPIE

    Did you know that alcohol can in fact act as a force multiplier for certain medications? Hence in some cases, drinking and drugging can actually be MORE not less effective. Which is bad too. In a way. I guess. Don’t defriend me.

    But I’m pretty sure your baked goods are less risky than mine. Just sayin’.

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    October 12th, 2011

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    November 4th, 2011

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Shez