steak & wine pie

This is an excellent dinner for a quiet and lazy weekend, when you have a bit of time. There is nothing difficult to make, but there is a lot of pastry-chilling-in-the-fridge time and beef-slowly-bubbling-away-on-the-stovetop time. It’s perfect to put together over two days, making the pastry on the first day and then cooking and assembling the pie on the second day. The filling can be made in advance too, though I do like to create some dinner anticipation by smelling it on the stove for a few hours on the afternoon before you eat it.  

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If you want to make two pies so you can have one now and save one for later, double the filling and use all the pastry. The pie can be assembled and baked and then frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for a less quiet and lazy time, when you need a comforting emergency meal.


rough puff pastry

from Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking

  • 1 1/4 cups cold butter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

  • a big pinch of salt

  • 2/3 cup cold water

Chop one cup of butter into small cubes. Put them in the freezer.

In a food processor, combine 1/4 cup butter, 2 cups flour and salt. Pulse until combined evenly.

Add cold butter cubes and pulse twice very quickly. The butter will be in large chunks and not incorporated. Add about half the water and pulse very quickly again. Add more water if the mixture is still very dry. The dough will not come together or form a ball.

Dump the contents of the food processor onto a work surface and roughly squish together. Roll dough out into a rectangle, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. It will be crumbly and uncooperative at first, don't worry. Fold the short edges of the rectangle into the centre so they overlap. Roll out again into a rectangle and repeat this folding (check out this helpful video to see how). Wrap the dough tightly in cling wrap and chill.

Note: this recipe make twice as much as you will need for one pie. Wrap extra tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for another use.

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filling:

  • 1 pound stewing beef, beef shin or any other slow cooking cut you like, cut into 1” cubes

  • 6 or 7 large stalks of celery, sliced

  • 6 or 7 large carrots, sliced

  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

  • 3 tbs flour

  • 3 cups beef stock

  • 1 ½ cups red wine

  • 2 tbs neutral vegetable oil

Sear the beef over medium-high heat in vegetable oil, making sure all the sides get browned. Remove and set aside. Add carrots and celery and cook until fragrant and the celery is translucent, but the vegetables are still fairly crisp. Remove carrots and celery and set aside.

Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent. Sprinkle with flour and add stock and wine and beef. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook until the meat is very tender, nearly falling apart, about 2 hours. Once meat is very tender, add vegetables back in. Spread filling in a 9” x 13” casserole dish.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out ½ the pastry to the size of the top of the casserole dish. Score lightly across the top and lay over the top of the filling. Brush with a beaten egg mixed with a little water for a shiny and deep gold finish.

Bake until pastry is flaky and golden and the filling is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.

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lemony artichokes and olives

Artichokes are the best vegetables. I want to eat them in everything, on pizza, in pasta, smushed and spread on bread - they improve everything you put them on. But they always seem to be a topping rather than a main vegetable in their own right. Maybe that’s why they seem quite precious and fancy, and I always want more of them. In this dish artichokes are the star - they are shining in the spotlight. They have some support from garlic and olives, but artichokes are the main act.

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This dish is so simple is barely constitutes a recipe, but so tasty that I really wanted to share it anyway. These artichokes make an excellent side and they are great as a little tapas-y type dish with lots of other little nibbly mediterranean-inflected food. They are awesome tossed into pasta or heaped up on some crispy toast, if you want to use them a topping. They take less than five minutes to cook so you can feel comforted that you are never far away from basically instant artichoke goodness.

lemoney artichokes and olives:

  • 2 tins artichokes (in water, not marinated)

  • ½ cup kalamata olives

  • ½ bulb garlic, cloves peeled and smashed

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • large pinch chili flakes

Over medium heat, saute garlic in oil until just beginning to colour. Add all remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices have thickened. Eat right away, piping hot.

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