Beef, curry and flaky pastry are a match made in heaven. Start the recipe a day ahead to cook the beef rendang low and slow, and allow it to cool overnight before using it as the curried filling to these pies.
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil
- 1 kg beef cheeks, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tsp finely grated ginger
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped
- 370 gm rendang curry paste (see note)
- 1 tbsp finely grated palm sugar
- 500 gm Desiree potatoes, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
- 500 ml ml (2 cups) beef stock
- 400 ml canned coconut cream
- 35 gm cornflour
- 200 gm snake beans, cut into 2cm pieces
- 2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, defrosted (see note p96)
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted (see note)
- 1 egg and 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten, for eggwash
- 1Heat half the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan with a lid over high heat. Sear beef cheeks, in batches if necessary, until browned all over. Transfer to a large plate.
- 2Preheat oven to 160°C. Add remaining oil to pan and reduce heat to a medium-high. Cook onions, garlic, ginger and lemongrass, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened (4 minutes). Stir in paste and sugar until mixture is toasted and fragrant (2 minutes). Stir in potatoes and beef, add 375ml stock and coconut cream, season to taste and bring to a simmer, then cover with a cartouche followed by a lid. Transfer to oven and braise until beef is very tender (2 hours). Remove from oven and strain mixture into a separate large saucepan, ensuring all braising liquid is collected. Set beef aside. Place braising liquid over medium heat, stir in combined cornflour and remaining 125ml stock, until mixture boils and thickens (7 minutes). Combine beef, snake beans and thickened braising liquid in a large bowl and season to taste. Refrigerate until cooled.
- 3Increase oven to 180°C fan-forced. Grease six 150ml pie tins. Meanwhile, cut six 15cm rounds from shortcrust pastry and six 12cm rounds from puff pastry. Press shortcrust rounds into pie tins and trim excess pastry. Divide beef mixture between pie tins, brush edges with eggwash, then top with puff pastry rounds, pressing edges together firmly. Brush pies with eggwash, cut small slits in pastry tops and scatter with salt flakes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake until golden and pastry is cooked (40 minutes).
Instead of beef cheeks, you can use round steak, chuck, brisket or rump. Rendang paste is available from Asian grocers or specialty food shops. We prefer to use Carême puff pastry which comes pre-rolled in 375gm sheets.