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.
- 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
- 1For 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.
- 2Meanwhile, 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.
- 3Meanwhile, 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.
Drink Suggestion: Hearty Tuscan sangiovese such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Drink suggestion by Max Allen