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Beef, red wine and cavolo nero pies

Oyster blade, from the forequarter, is an excellent cut for braising. It can also be trimmed into tasty steaks which should be cooked rare. Use a good-quality wine for this recipe. The pies can be assembled ahead and popped in the oven just before serving.

You'll need

60 gm butter, coarsely chopped 1.4 kg oyster blade, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 4cm pieces 2 tbsp plain seasoned flour 8 golden shallots, sliced 100 gm piece prosciutto end, diced 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 750 ml robust red wine 400 gm canned whole tomatoes, slightly broken up 3 sprigs each of thyme and rosemary 600 gm cavolo nero, coarsely chopped 2 tsp mild extra-virgin olive oil For brushing: eggwash   Parmesan rough puff pastry 250 gm organic unbleached plain flour 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan 200 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped


  • 01
  • For parmesan rough puff pastry, sieve flour and a pinch of fine salt onto a work surface, add parmesan, scatter butter over the top and cut butter into flour with a pastry scraper until roughly mixed (there should still be small lumps of butter in the mixture). Make a well in the centre, add 100ml iced water and use pastry scraper to just combine. Bring dough together with the heel of your hand, form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (1 hour). Roll out on a lightly floured surface to form a 1.5cm-thick rectangle. Fold short ends in to meet in the centre. Fold in half to form a book-fold. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate until just firm (20-30 minutes). Repeat rolling and folding twice more. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in refrigerator (30 minutes), then roll out on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick, cut out four rounds large enough to cover four 500ml pie dishes, then refrigerate rounds until required.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, heat butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Toss beef in flour, then add to pan in batches and turn occasionally until browned (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a casserole and set aside. Add shallot, prosciutto and two-thirds of garlic to pan, stir occasionally until golden (3-5 minutes), add to beef. Deglaze pan with wine, then add wine to casserole with tomato and herbs, cover and stir occasionally over low heat until beef is tender (1½-2 hours). Strain sauce (discard herb stalks), transfer liquid to a saucepan, cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half (20-30 minutes), then return sauce to beef and set aside to cool.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C. Cook cavolo nero in boiling salted water until bright green (1-2 minutes). Drain, pressing to remove excess liquid. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add remaining garlic and cavolo nero, stir occasionally until tender (2-4 minutes), then transfer to pie dishes. Spoon over beef mixture, brush edges of pie dishes with eggwash and place a pastry round on top of each. Pierce a hole in the centre of each pie, brush tops with eggwash, bake until puffed and golden (20-25 minutes), serve hot.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Hearty Tuscan sangiovese such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Featured in

Jun 2011

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