I dare you to put one un-socked foot outside your front door. How’s that feel? Autumnal yes? Well, for me that’s barometer enough to start thinking in a different way when it comes to the kitchen and the feed I’m gona rustle up. Summer has gone and with it it has taken the desire to BBQ and salad-up – I want hearty wholesome food now, food that when I think about it I actually start to warm up.
Makes 2 crock pots – enough for 2
200 grams shin beef on the bone
1 750 mls bottle of good pale ale
2 small white onions – medium slice
1/2 litre good beef stock
1 tbs plain flour
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
4 baby carrots chunked
Salt flakes and Cracked black pepper
Egg wash (1 beaten egg with a splash of milk)
Kick things off by removing the beef from the bone (but keep the bone and it’s marrow) cut into 1″ cubes and in a bowl combine it with the Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 the ale and few sprigs of the fresh Thyme. If you can then leave it over night but a minimum of 2 hours is what you need.
When you are ready to start cooking, get a large heavy pot on the heat and glug in some olive oil, drain the beef and pat dry with some kitchen paper then brown off the meat..really, really well. This browning process has nothing to done with ‘sealing in flavour’ – it is all above the final colour and depth of flavour of the dish, the browning also carmelises the inherent sugars in the beef increasing flavour.
When browned well remove the beef to one side then sling in the sliced onions and again, brown well – this will ensure the end sauce is rich and dark.
Next back in with the beef, the carrots and scatter in the flour – it will help thicken the sauce.
Final stage – lug in the marinade, the rest of the ale and the beef stock, bring to a boil then down to a gentle simmer for 90 minutes or until the beef is tender.
Set aside to cool completely.
About 30 minutes before you want to serve cut out the lids for the pies from the puff pastry, spoon the beef mixture into ‘crocks’ then set the pastry lid on top – brush with the egg wash and bake at 160 for 35 to 40 – minutes or until the beef is piping hot and the lid is golden brown.
Serve the pie with kale or cabbage and if you are feeling greedy then get some roasties going aswell!