My flat-out favorite food is braised short ribs. If I see it on a menu while out, nothing else has a chance to even enter my mind. Braising beef requires little to no real time or skill commitment and when done correctly is knee-shakingly good.
I have never met a braised short rib I didn’t like. It is relatively easy to make, but I never think about it when I’m at home.
Until this week, anyway.
My wife hates pot pie. It’s a real downer because I enjoy them. I feel like some 70’s bachelor with my cravings for a pie stacked with chicken and fresh vegetables. Unless I get a rare night to myself, we just don’t have them. So I’m always on the hunt for some way to introduce her to the wild world of pot pies.
This week, we have a glorified stew with a pastry on top. Would I call it a pot pie? Typically no, but we will call it one because it’s delicious, and maybe she will get over her pot pie aversion. I see more pot pies in my future!
Probably not. Who am I kidding?
This recipe, however, actually does a decent job using all of what you can buy at the store at one time. One thorn in the side is the rosemary. I have it growing in my garden, in the summer, but it is winter. So having to buy a pack of it to use one sprig is a downer.
But my father-in-law had a fantastic idea. Why not dry it and save it for later?
Just place the leftover rosemary on parchment paper and place in your oven on the lowest setting. If you have a gas oven, just placing it in there and waiting a few days will dry it out perfectly. Crush it up and place into a ziplock or other container for later. Takes the sting out of wasting all that herb.
This recipe takes some time, so plan ahead. It’s a perfect weekend type project. Start making it around 1:30 p.m. and everything will come together perfectly for Sunday dinner. This stew is hearty and full of winter vegetables.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Braised beef pot pie
2 ½ pounds flat iron steak (I couldn’t find this cut so i ended up going with a flat cut brisket — worked fantastically)
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 quart (32 oz) beef stock
1 package (2) puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 small cremini or baby portabella mushrooms, halved
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1 rosemary sprig
2 dried bay leaves
• Using a 5 inch bowl as a guide, cut six rounds from the puff pastries and transfer the rounds onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer until after the stew is done.
• Preheat oven to 340. Season beef very generously with salt and pepper on all sides. In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add beef and cook on all sides. This step will sear in all the juices and might be the most important step in the whole process. Make sure the pot is hot before you put the beef in to get a great sear. Transfer beef to a plate and discard extra oil.
• Return the pot to the same moderately hot burner and add the butter and all vegetables to the pot stirring occasionally until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring another 4 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced down to about half. If you enjoy more of a wine taste in your stews feel free to shorten this step.
• Return the beef and any juices back into the pot, add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and place in the oven, braising for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
• Carefully remove the beef, it will be very tender, and transfer to a cutting board, allowing it to cool slightly. Cut into bite sized pieces and return to pot, season with salt and pepper to taste.
• Remove puff pastry rounds out of the freezer and brush with egg wash. Increase the oven temperature to 400 and place the egg washed rounds in until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
• Ladle the hot stew into bowls and top each with a puff pastry. Serve right away.