Oh how many times I have had this for dinner! This is one of my husband’s favourite dishes and actually it was his idea to cover the stew with puff pastry so credits should go to him for the idea! We always had to make some potatoes on the side so I decided to make the pies all in one with the potato mash already inside.
Sometimes I make a bigger quantity and freeze the pies with the puff pastry already on top but uncooked. To defrost, just take them out to the fridge and allow to defrost for about 4 hours. Brush the egg yolk on top, make a little whole on the pastry for the steam to come out and cook in the oven until the puff pastry is golden brown. Serve with a green salad and a glass of nice red wine. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Test Kitchen Notes
This stew could warm anyone's heart. It was delicious. The meat was indeed melt in your mouth and the turnip/celery mash was a nice twist. A big hit all around. We liked it even before the cream was added, but for a bit of extra warmth and richness, it certainly doesn't hurt. —Dawne Marie
6 - 8
2 1/2 pounds
veal or beef cut in 1 inch cubes
all purpose flour
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
bacon, cut into strips
good red wine
vegetable stock, warmed
celery stalk, sliced to medium thickness
medium sweet onions, diced thinly
head of garlic, roasted (reserve 1 tbsp for use)
Cut the garlic head in half horizontally and wrap in aluminium foil. Bake for 45 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the garlic and put it in a bowl and squash with a fork until you have a paste. Set aside.
Lower the oven to 275º F. Salt and pepper the meat and set aside.
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide frying pan and allow to heat well. Add the bacon strips and brown evenly. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In the same frying pan, without taking the olive oil and fat rendered by the bacon, sautée the mushrooms, with thyme, salt and pepper. (If they don’t fit all in the frying pan sautée in 2 batches so as not to steam). Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and keep fat and juices in the frying pan.
Deglaze the frying pan with half the wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Reserve.
Lightly dust the meat with flour.
In a dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil, add the meat and seal it on all sides – do this in 3 batches so the meat fries well. Keep removing the previous batch of meat and go ahead with the second, until you have browned all the meat pieces. Keep the meat in a bowl off to the side.
Add the sage leaves and fry for 1 minute, then add the diced onion and garlic and allow to color until just very pale blond.
Add the other half of the red wine and deglaze the dutch pan well. Add the reserved deglazing liquid and the 1 tablespoon of roasted garlic mash and stir to dissolve very well. Allow to come to a boil again. Add the meat, bacon, and mushrooms, stirring well to combine. Add the celery, carrots, and enough stock to come to 2/3 of the height of the meat.
Cover and cook in the oven at 275º F for 2 to 3 hours, stirring from time to time and adding more hot vegetable stock when necessary. When cooked, the meat should almost fall apart.
Return the dutch oven to the stove again over medium low heat and check the seasoning with salt and pepper. Discard the sage leaves.
In a separate small pot, dissolve the flour in the cream and add 1/2 a ladle of the hot meat sauce to the cream and stir well. Pour the cream in the pot, reduce the heat, stir well until all the sauce is well mixed and the meat covered with it, and cook for 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens with the flour.
Assembling the pie: Raise oven temperature back to 400. Butter the bottom of an oven proof dish, add one good layer of potato mash (about 1/3 of the height of the dish). Add the meat and vegetable stew with enough sauce to come almost to the top.
Clean the borders of the dish well and layer the puff pastry. Press lightly on the border to adhere it to the dish and with a very sharp knife cut around the dish. At this point you can freeze the dish if you desire. (You can also choose to make individual or 2 portion pies or even put the pastry directly on the Dutch oven -- whichever you like!)
Lightly brush the pastry with egg yolk, make one whole in the middle for the steam to come out and bake in the oven until the puff pastry is golden brown. Enjoy!
Here's the recipe for the turnip mash: http://food52.com/recipes/2998_roasted_turnip_and_celery_with_garlic_and_rosemary_infused_potato_mash, or feel free to use your favorite one!