Beef and Red Wine Pot Pie with Braised Cabbage

July 12, 2010

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First of all, I apologise for the lack of blog love in the past fortnight. Yup, it’s the same old excuses –
busy busy busy and my kitchen libido has taken a nose dive again yaddi yaddi ya. And of course, football rules my life and man oh man, these 4AM World Cup games were a killer on ye olde body clock.

It has also been a difficult few days, with the most screwed up end-of-the-week ever. Bad news came pummelling at me in one shitty heap and though I put on a brave front to the world, it still hurts and aches like buggery inside. As they say, “when it rains, it pours” (you know, I’d love to clobber the fool who came up with that stupid phrase). So more apologies if this post doesn’t, well, sound like my usual self.

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This battered old soul is now crying out for comfort in all shapes and forms. A part of me seeks the company of awesome friends for laughs and distracting conversations. Another part of me heals by donning the trackie pants and settling down to trashy dvds* with my faithful man and canine. And of course, I cook**.

*Rumours that I’ve watched and enjoyed a Kevin Costner movie are all false. By that, I mean it’s shamefully true.

** …because I weep.

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Thyme
heals all wounds (snap!)


Winter is still raging in Aussieland and my local butcher is now my new best friend because I just can’t get enough of meaty stews and braising anything and everything in sight (all loved domestic pets are exempt of course
). Hearty slow-cooked meals are what I turn to for maximum healing, especially if it has been cooked in something alcoholic. Which is why I’ve been disposing of my recyclables in the dead of night so nobody can see how many empty glass bottles are in my possession (red wine? What red wine?!).

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Simple is good as this
beef and red wine pot pie proves. Tonight it was served alongside cabbage that was braised with caramelised carrot, celery and onion, garlic, bacon, caraway and fennel seeds and a splash of red wine vinegar. The recipe comes from Adrian Richardson’s Meat: Delicious Dinners For Every Night of the Week.

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Who’d ever thought cabbage could be so delicious when caramelised in butter?


One should never underestimate the power of braised meat too soothe, comfort and heal. I know this post was a little bit more melancholy as usual but I assure you that I’ll be back to my bouncy, inane self soon enough.

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Beef and Red Wine Pot Pie


Adapted from Gourmet Traveller

Ingredients

1.7kg boneless beef shoulder or chuck, cut into 1 – 1.5cm cubes

Seasoned flour (for dusting)
30ml olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
600ml beef stock
375ml red wine – use a nice, gutsy cabernet or shiraz
10 sprigs of thyme – tied with kitchen twine
3 fresh bay leaves
200g butter mushrooms, chopped
20g plain flour (optional)
30ml red wine vinegar
375g butter puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbl milk

Method

Dust the beef cubes in plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper and shake off the excess. Heat oil in a heavy based casserole pot over medium heat and brown beef cubes in batches, stirring to prevent the flour from catching and burning on the bottom. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.

Add a splash more oil and add the veges and garlic and cook for around 5 minutes or until softened.

Add stock, wine, herbs and the browned beef cubes and season lightly with sea salt and black pepper (it’s always best to do most of the seasoning after everything’s cooked and liquid has reduced). Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours. Add mushrooms and cook another 30 minutes or until meat is tender.

If it’s still a little liquidy, place flour in a small bowl and add enough braising liquid (about 40ml) to make a thin, smooth paste. Add to casserole little by little, stirring, until it’s smooth and thick. Season to taste, add vinegar and cool. Once cooled, spoon into a 1.5 – 2L capacity pie dish, removing the bay leaves. Alternatively, you can spoon into individual pie dishes or ramekins.

Preheat oven to 180C. Roll pastry to 3mm thick and place over filling, with edges overhanging. Press with fork tines to seal edges and trim excess with a knife. Brush with the eggwash and bake for around 20 minutes or until pastry is golden. Serve with braised cabbage.

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Braised Cabbage


Adapted from Adrian Richardson’s Meat

Ingredients 

3 Tbl olive oil
150g thick-cut rashers bacon or pancetta, sliced into batons
50g butter
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1/2 Tbl caraway seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
600g Savoy cabbage, thickly sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and saut√© the bacon until it’s crispy. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.

Lower the heat and add the butter to the pan. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, caraway seeds and fennel seeds and sweat for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft, but not coloured.

Add the cabbage to the pan, cover with a lid and sweat for around 5 minutes or until the cabbage begins to soften. Season then increase the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the pan juices have evaporated (it took mine around 15 minutes but I wanted it browned and nicely caramelised).

Stir through the fried bacon and parsley and serve. If you wish, you could also add a splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar. The slight pickle-ly tartness would brilliantly to cut through the salty buttery richness.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Caitlin July 24, 2011 at 19:05

I recently made this for my boyfriend and we both loved it. In fact I loved it so much I am making individual pot pies for my 21st birthday this week, perfect for a Melbourne winter.

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Citrus and Candy August 1, 2011 at 23:35

Hi Caitlin! Oh wonderful! Glad you enjoyed the pies. It has been the perfect weather for it :)

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Ange March 30, 2011 at 08:46

great recipe…simple and delicious… also great bcoz I had most ingredients at my fingertips

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citrusandcandy August 12, 2010 at 10:20

Oops! Thanks for letting me know! Sorry for the oversight :)

Am fixing it now.

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linda July 15, 2010 at 00:31

I assume you return the beef to the pot with the stock?

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Amy @ cookbookmaniac July 13, 2010 at 07:54

Nothing but leftovers tonight. bitterly wishing i had me a pot of this. hope things get better for you soon!

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@bellyrumbles July 13, 2010 at 04:56

Big hug Karen.

The photos make me want to reach in to my monitior and just pull that out for lunch, yum! It really is the weather for it.

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Ellie July 13, 2010 at 04:37

It's definitely pot pie weather. Glad you liked the cabbage dish. You have just inspired me to consider making pot pie for dinner

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Thang July 13, 2010 at 01:35

I'm at home sick today… the weather is so cold and miserable… now have a hankering for hot pot pie!

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citrusandcandy July 12, 2010 at 12:57

Thanks so much Shaz :)

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citrusandcandy July 12, 2010 at 12:57

I shared the same feelings too! I love my meat but I was blown away when I first tasted the braised cabbage. I think it's the power of butter :P

Thanks Sarah!

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citrusandcandy July 12, 2010 at 12:56

Hehe would it surprise you to know that I actually cook a little more savoury food at home than desserts? :)

But cheers Mark! :D

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citrusandcandy July 12, 2010 at 12:54

LOL but would it be totally a bad thing if not all of the alcohol gets burned off? ;P

Ummm I guess I better not feed any of my stews to minors then hahaha.

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mlle délicieuse July 12, 2010 at 12:53

I agree…it rains, and then it rains some more. But us resilient types come out stronger at the other end and, perhaps, a little hungrier too =)

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Sarah - For the Love of Food July 12, 2010 at 11:49

I can't decide which beautifully photographed, scrumptious looking dish I like more. As a committed carnivore I expected to love the pie most but the braised cabbage just looks so incredibly rich and appealing that it would be hard for me to choose. What perfect looking dishes both – and lovely photos!

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Mark @ Cafe Campana July 12, 2010 at 11:45

I hope everything gets better for you soon.

This pie looks really good and anything braised is fine by me. I only have one issue, I am not sure savoury dishes belong on this blog :)

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shaz July 12, 2010 at 11:26

Oh dear, hope things look brighter soon. Pot pie and cabbage sound perfect for the blues.

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john@heneedsfood July 12, 2010 at 08:18

How I'd love to be having this for dinner tonight. Rich juicy beef, crispy pastry and that beautiful cabbage!

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angie July 12, 2010 at 05:54

Aww hope things get better for you! The pie looks absolutely divine! And sooo warming on a dreary day!

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Nhiro July 12, 2010 at 03:32

This looks amazing. Pot pies are so comforting.

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Laura July 12, 2010 at 03:12

Karen, hugs!

You've made me want a pie, a big meaty pie & I'm a no red meat-tarian.
I cant even begin to describe how badly I'd like to remove this pie from the computer screen

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Lemonpi July 12, 2010 at 00:45

Sorry to hear you've been in the doldrums of late! Hope things work out for you, whatever the problems have been. Pie helps though, right?

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Ladybird July 12, 2010 at 00:39

This looks like a warming winter meal, perfect for this time of year :)

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Helen l grabyourfork July 11, 2010 at 23:40

"braising anything and everything in sight (all loved domestic pets are exempt of course)"

lol! This looks amazing and perfectly suited for both winter and comfort eating. Hope you find your silver lining soon :)

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sasa July 11, 2010 at 20:40

Sorry to hear you're having a hard time T_T But the braising does sound like a good cure and hey, if you cook the alcohol it doesn't count, right?
(Actually, in rather worrying news I heard only 20% of the alcohol in a dish gets cooked off but let's just reserve judgement on that one – it's not true until we get further confirmation, I mean in the 90s they said maragarine was good for you right?)

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Paula July 11, 2010 at 19:07

that second pic is absolutely awesome!

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