Wishing you all health, contentment and happiness in 2010!
The Handyman and I had a lovely New Year's Eve (known to all Scots as Hogmanay), just the two of us in our cottage home. Traditionally we have a beef and ale pie for our evening meal on Hogmanay and this year was no exception. The filling for the pie was slowly cooked for around 5 hours in a very low oven and then placed in a pie dish covered with puff pastry and returned to the oven. Served with mixed winter vegetables (carrots, parsnips and brussel sprouts) and creamed HG potatoes - delicious when complimented by a glass or two of St Emilion! A lovely meal to end the old year.
1 packet ready made puff pastry
1 lb stewing steak
6-10 shallots, peeled and left whole
2 parsnips, peeled and thickly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
3/4 pt beef stock
1/2 pt Guinness
pl flour mixed with 1 tsp mustard powder to coat the beef
1 tsp dried sage
Heat some oil in a heavy based frying pan. Add the shallots, carrots and parsnips and fry gently until the onions have browned slightly. Remove from pan and place in a large casserole dish.
Heat some more oil and add the beef coated in flour in small batches, browing all over, then remove and place in the casserole dish. Repeat until all the beef has been browned.
Pour off the excess oil and add the stock and Guiness to the pan. Bring to the boil and then add the dried sage. Pour enough of the liquid over the beef and vegetables to cover and stir to combine. Cover the beef mixture with a circle of greaseproof paper and place the casserole lid on top. Put the casserole in the oven at 120C - 140C for at least 4 hours. Check the liquid level from time to time adding more if required. After about 3 hours add the mushrooms, stir to combine and return to the oven.
When the beef is cooked spoon the mixture into a pie dish and cover with the puff pastry. Place the pie dish in the oven at 200C for aproximately 25 minutes until the pastry has risen and is golden. Serve with creamed potatoes and vegetables of your choice.