Winter and comfort food intrinsically go together. It can remind you of a different time and warm you up from the inside out, what could be better? For me personally, the best comfort food is anything meaty and cooked slowly for hours – or containing pasta and cheese, obviously! Recently I spent a wonderful relaxing Sunday just chopping, simmering and baking. It was so nice to take the time in the kitchen and slow down, with the rain falling outside.
This recipe is actually very close to my heart, as it takes me waaaay back to my very first blog post. Which is actually somewhat appropriate, as Spicyicecream celebrated its 7th birthday recently! I made a few slight changes to the recipe to simplify it, and thought about how much I’ve learned about cooking and baking since I started this blog.
At the beginning, I wanted to try as many new ingredients and techniques as I could, but now I get the most joy from cooking the kind of things that I really love the most and putting fun new twists on the classics. I have discovered so many favourite dishes from sharing them here first, and then making them over and over in the time since. And I’ve learned everything I know about photography and styling from practicing and practicing for the photos here. But geez, looking back on some of my early photos really makes me cringe!
I never in a million years thought that blogging would take off as it has, let alone that I’d still be doing it after so long, given my short attention span! It really has been a tasty little journey, and I hope it continues. I know I haven’t been posting as much this year, but I truly can’t imagine life without taking photos of every cake I make.
I like this recipe, because once the prep is done, you can almost leave it alone (save for a little stir here and there) for an hour while the meat simmers away. This time I made one large pot pie rather than several small ones just used store-bought puff pastry for the top to save time. Next time I would add some mushrooms, but if you like you could add other veggies too. Enjoy on a cold night with a big glass of Shiraz!
Beef and Shiraz Pie
Adapted from this post
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 ½ onions, chopped
• 1 kg blade steak, cut into small cubes
• 6 rashers bacon, finely sliced
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 3 cups beef stock
• 2 cups Shiraz (or other red wine)
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tablespoons flour or cornflour
• ¼ cup water
• sea salt and cracked black pepper
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
To make the filling, heat the oil in a saucepan or large frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, until soft. Add bacon and cook until crispy, then add the meat and cook until brown. Add the thyme, tomato paste, stock, wine and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and simmer, uncovered for one hour or until the meat is tender.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Blend the cornflour/flour and water to a smooth paste. Add it to the beef mixture while it is simmering rapidly on high heat. Stir until the mixture has thickened and returned to a simmer. Add salt and pepper and then set aside to cool slightly.
Cut puff pastry to the same size and shape as your serving dish. Spoon meat mixture into the dish and fit pastry on top. Make a small slit in the middle, brush egg mixture generously on top of pastry and bake for 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Serve with peas and creamy mashed potatoes.