Road trip recipes: Beef and red wine (not quite) pie.
In the early part of our road trip we stopped for a pie and chips at Autumns Breath B&B and cafe in Graskop. The beef was soft and peppery – clearly slow cooked in a delicious sauce! Inspired, I bought some beef short ribs to slow cook in our potjie for our first night camping in Malalotja. Beef short ribs are a great cut, tasty and cheap! A bottle of beer and some dried herbs made a simple sauce to go with potatoes baked in the fire. It was a tasty and simple camping meal, but not the best choice if you are hungry on arrival – even 1 hr was not quite enough time to cook to beef to fall-apart perfection.
With all these inspiring tastes, I determined to try and make the best slow cooked beef pie when I got back to Cape Town.
Beef and red wine pie
500g beef short ribs (pick cuts with just a little fat).
3-4 shallots, cut in to slices.
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped finely.
1/3 bottle of red wine.
1 pack puff pastry.
Cut the short ribs up in to large chunks (keep the bone pieces in). Quickly brown the beef in a little oil (not olive, something that can withstand higher temperatures, any cheap oil will do). Place the beef in a casserole dish (cast iron ideally – then you can always make a delicious gravy on the hob after- I unfortunately can’t afford one of these dishes yet!). Add the chopped garlic and shallots and cover in red wine. You can add some herbs if you like, rosemary is quite nice with this, or just a sprinkle of general dried italian herbs.
Slow cook in the over until the beef falls apart. I think ours took around about 2 1/2 hours on 120c.
The reason I can’t tell you exactly how long it took is because when I got home from my yoga class the oven was off, although Ben had quite recently checked on it. The sad thing was that the oven wouldn’t turn on again – a broken switch so we later found out. This is problematic as the next step would have been to roughly shred the beef, remove the bones and thicken the sauce in a pot on the stove (adding a little cornflour if necessary) before adding the meat to individual cocottes, topping with puff pastry and cooking in the oven for a further 20-30 minutes until golden….the perfect pie!
Unfortunately with our broken oven this was not to be, so I quickly made some sweet potato mash and topped this with the beef and thickened sauce. We also had parmesan peas – really simple, just cooked peas warmed with a little olive oil and grated parmesan until the parmesan melts and the peas become fantastically sticky. Dinner was saved but unfortunately our oven could not be saved and I’ve now been without it for a week! The perils of rented property!