A while ago I made a Beef and Cheddar pie.
Then I made 3 more.
They were all slightly different – one with a truffle cream sauce and one with tomatoes and vegetables. The constant is the tender beef – it proved to be very versatile. I added creamy mashed potatoes to mini puff pastry-lined beef pies to make potato top pies, and then as ragu served with penne with a touch of tomato paste, as shown here.
- 1kg beef, cross-cut blade, cut into 5cm strips
- 2 onions, sliced
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 2 bay leaf
- 4 Tbsp Truffle paste if you wanted to make the truffle version, or 4 Tbsp tomato paste if you prefer
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 250ml white or red wine
- 500ml beef stock (Simon Gault’s)
- 3 tbsp cornflour + 1/4 cup water
- Season beef with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in the pan to brown the beef in several batches.
- Brown onion until it softens. Add anchovy fillets, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves.
- Add wine to deglaze the pan.
- Return all the beef to the pan and bring to the boil. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours (or you can use a pressure cooker like I did and it’s all done in 45 minutes!)
- When cooked, remove beef and flake meat off with a fork.
- Thicken the stock with cornflour liquid.
- Mix the truffle paste (or tomato paste) in with the thickened stock.
- Cook the pasta till it’s al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water.
- Mix with ragu and add a bit of the pasta water to loosen the sauce.
Note: I prefer to cook with cross-cut blade when making stews, casseroles and curries as the texture of the meat cut helps create this irresistible gelatinous goo that binds everything together. Yum!!