Rustic Pie: Beef Cheeks braised in Red Wine

I dreamt of this Pie for days!!!! That is what happens when you are on a Sprummer (Spring/Summer) Prep diet. And on my cheat day, I woke up with a spring in my step. Beef Cheeks are my all time favourite cut of meat. Brasing, they fall apart – succulent pieces of meat… in a pie… on mash… with veggies… Im your mouth!!! yum! Are you drooling yet? Well, whip your chin and get your rump (roast) in the kitchen! And make this:

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Ingredients

Pie filling

  • 2kg kg beef cheeks
  • OPTIONAL Beef bones for flavour – ask butcher, super cheap, but a flavour bomb
  • ½-1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • ¼ cup of corn flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 garlic bulbs Cloves skinned and crushed
  • 2 large brown onion, chopped
  • 500 ml  Red Wine
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup rosemary leaves
  •  Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper
  • 2 beef stock cube/ 2 knorr cubes
  • Cup of chopped parsley

Pie Crust

  • 300g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 240g unsalted butter, chilled
  • 4-8 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon warm water

Method

  1. Heat Oven to 175C on grill fan assisted
  2. Combine some salt, black pepper & cornflour in a bowl.
  3. Trim the beef cheeks to neaten them up, remove any sinew and silver skin & cut into big cubes (6-7cm2). Coat lightly in seasoned cornflour.
  4. Heat a large saucepan, coat with canola oil and brown the beef cheeks for 2 minutes on all sides, or until golden, then remove from the pan.
  5. In a large pot, melt butter. Add garlic and onion and sauté over high heat until translucent. Add the carrots, celery and sautee until soft. Stir in the wine, brown sugar, bones, bay leaves, thyme, stock cube, black pepper and some water (1cup). Bring to the boil.
  6. Add the beef cheeks, bring to a simmer, then transfer everything to a roasting dish.
  7. Cover with foil and braise in the oven for 4-5 hours or until falling apart.
  8. Separate the meat from the juices & vegetables.
  9. Gently pull apart the meat, it shouldn’t be labor intensive. If it is, your meat probably isn’t braised enough and set aside.
  10. Puree the leftover vegetables/juices with a hand help blender. Then run through a sieve, you should have a nice thin puree which is your gravy. I don’t like to thicken gravy with cornflour/flour. The veggies will add some thickness/fibre.
  11. Mix the gravy (about 1-2 cup yield into the meat and stir. Now you have your pie filling.
  12. Pour the filling into your pre-baked pie shell and roll out the other discus of pie crust to cover.
  13. Don’t forget to get creative. And don’t for get to make a couple holes for steam to escape.
  14. Bake in the oven for 30 mins

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Pie Crust

Method:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Alternatively, if making crust by hand, whisk the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Place a few ice cubes in a small ramekin and fill with water. Stir with a tablespoon measure and set aside.
  3. Remove the butter from the fridge and unwrap. Use a paring knife to cut it into several small cubes.
  4. Scatter the cubes of butter over the surface of the flour. Attach the food processor lid and pulse 15 to 20 times until the mixture resembles cornmeal with pieces of butter no larger than a pea. Alternatively, cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingertips.
  5. Remove the lid and sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over the surface of the butter-flour mixture. Pulse a 4 to 5 times to combine. Check to see if the dough is holding together by squeezing a bit in your hand — if it holds together, it’s ready; if it breaks apart easily, add a little more water. Add more water a tablespoon at a time as needed. The final dough should not come together in a dough, but you should see no more powdery flour and the dough should just be starting to clump together in large crumbs.
  6. Alternatively, sprinkle the water over the flour and use two forks to toss the flour to combine. Test the dough and add more water as described above, handling the dough as little as possible with your hands.
  7. Turn the pie dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide the dough into two piles. Use the palm of your hand to quickly gather and press each mound into a thick disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days (or freeze for up to 3 months; defrost in the fridge overnight before using).
  8. Remove one of the disks of dough from the fridge. Sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Unwrap the dough and lay it on top of the flour. Working from the middle of the dough outwards, roll the dough into a circle roughly 12 to 13 inches in diameter (a few inches larger than your pie pan). Use firm strokes and work the dough as little as possible.
  9. If the dough cracks when you first start rolling, let it stand for one minute to warm slightly before rolling again. Use more flour if the dough starts to stick. Use a pastry scraper to lift the pastry from the work surface and make sure it’s not sticking.
  10. Sprinkle the top of the pie crust and your rolling pin with a little flour. Lay your rolling pin on one edge of the pie crust and begin gently rolling the pie crust over the rolling pin. When it’s all rolled up, move it to the pie pan and gently unroll. Ease the pie crust into the corners of the pan. Trim all but an inch or two of the pie dough from around the edge; use the trimmings to patch up any holes or tears.
  11. Transfer the pie pan with pie crust to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes. – then bake for 22 minutes.

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I’m Betty, and Butter is a story of a full-time suburban SAHM ( Stay-At-Home-Mom) who practices Medicine in her spare time. My life heavily revolves around Babycakes, my husband, Bobby and Ben, my children and an acerbic tongued pug D’Artagnan.

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