I planned on making a steak and mushroom pie but while shopping I found beautiful heavy Blue Points at the fish counter for 39 cents each. I couldn't resist and picked up a couple of dozen....a dozen for this pie and a dozen for just slurping up! Amanda and Merrill have a video re: oysters which includes a brief lecture on shucking oysters. You can find it here:
4 to 6 servings
pearl onions ( 20 to 25)
slices bacon, chopped
boneless beef ribeye cut into one inch cubes
Instant flour (Wondra) for dusting the beef and more for thickening later
minced garlic clove
brown or white button mushrooms, halved if large
Prep the pearl onions by cutting off the root end of each and then placing them in a pan of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain and when cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and then set aside.
In a 4 to 5 quart Dutch oven, cook the bacon in one tablespoon of the butter until relatively crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to paper toweling, leaving the rendered bacon fat in the Dutch oven.
Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper and then dust them with some instant flour. Brown the cubes, in batches, in the bacon fat until well browned. Remove each batch to a bowl.
Add the second tablespoon of butter to the pot along with the minced garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
Pour the beef stock and ale into the pot, add the bay leaf and simmer for about 5 minutes while scraping the browned bits up from the bottom of the pot.
Return the beef, along with any accumulated juices, and the bacon to the pot. Bring up to the boil and then down to a simmer. Simmer, covered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After 30 minutes, add the mushrooms and pearl onions. Stir and simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper if need be.
Using a large slotted spoon, lift the meat, mushrooms and onions out of the pot and transfer to a 2.5 - 3 quart baking dish. Fish out the bay leaf . Reheat the "gravy" that you've left in the pot and thicken with more instant flour.
Pour the gravy over the meat mixture, let cool for a few minutes, and then scatter the oysters over the top (if some of your oysters are extremely large, cut them in half). Push the oysters down into the casserole and then to be safe, sprinkle in a little more of the instant flour.
Prep the puff pastry by rolling it long enough to cover the baking dish. You can either just cover the dish with the pastry and crimp along the edges or cut into strips and create a lattice pattern as I did. If you just cover, make sure to vent the pastry.
Brush the pastry with a little of the beaten egg and then bake in a preheated 400F oven for 40 to 50 minutes until the top is golden and the stew is bubbly. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
NOTE: You can use beef chuck for this but it will require you to probably double the beer and stock amounts and simmer for over an hour.
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!