Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Tia Mia Angel Food Cake

Tia Maria/Kahlua soaked cake with Skor chocolate bars - Nothing else to say except YUM!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Beef Pot Pies Topped with Puff Pastry

Traditionally pot pies are lined and topped with pie pastry but in this recipe you simply top each with store bought puff pastry. Make the beef stew and then just before serving fill an oven proof dish with the stew and then top with the pastry. The pastry puffs up and gets crispy and really sends this basic dish over the top. You can see in the photo I used my french onion soup bowls but any oven proof dish works. This recipe made about 10 pot pies. You can freeze the pies but I recommend thawing the stew mixture prior to topping with the puff pastry or else the pastry gets too brown and over cooked.


2 boxes (17.3 oz.) frozen puff pastry
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 lb. beef--stew meat, chuck roast, or sirloin, cut into bite sized pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups chopped mushrooms
2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 sprig of fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried.
6 cups low sodium beef broth
12 small red potatoes (1-1/3 lbs.), cut in 1" pieces, skin on
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1 (1-lb) bag frozen pea and carrot medley (approx 3 cups; do not thaw)
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water


MAKE THE STEW: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in Dutch oven over med-high heat. Pat meat dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add half to pan. Cook, stir occasionally, until browned and liquid gone. Remove to plate and repeat with remaining meat. Remove to plate.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, add mushrooms; cook golden brown. Add onions to the pan and cook until soft.

Stir in tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and rosemary; cook for approx 30 seconds. Stir in 1 cup broth and stir removing all the little bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the rest of the broth, potatoes, and browned meat. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and bake in 325 degree oven until potatoes are cooked and beef is tender, approx. 1 ½-2 hours. Take pot out of oven,whisk together cornstarch and cold water, stir into soup and cook until thickened; approx. 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in frozen peas & carrots. Season with salt to taste.

CUT PASTRY TOPS: Use about 10 16 oz. oven proof bowls. Turn one upside down on thawed pastry sheet and cut around it with a small knife. Repeat for number of crusts you need.

ASSEMBLE THE POT PIES: Ladle stew into ovenproof bowls, place puff pastry round on top. Gently stretch and press pastry edges over lip of bowl. Make egg wash by whisking egg with 1 tablespoon water, brush on pastry tops. Place bowls on foil lined baking sheet for easy clean up and easy of handling.

BAKING INSTRUCTIONS: Bake at 400 until crusts are golden and filling is bubbly.

--To bake right away, bake for 25-35 minutes.

--To bake if refrigerated, bake 40-50 minutes.

--To bake if frozen, bake 1 to 1-1/4 hours.

If crust browns before filling is bubbly, place a loose piece of foil across the top to prevent over browning. Let pies rest 15-20 minutes before serving to allow filling to cool and thicken.

MAKE AHEAD TIPS: Cook the stew, let it cool to room temperature, pour into baking bowls, cover and refrigerate or freeze. Cut pastry sheets into rounds and stack between layers of plastic wrap; cover and refrigerate. OR, go ahead and top each cooled bowl of stew with the top crust ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. (Don't brush with egg wash until right before baking.)

Print Recipe:Beef Pot Pies Topped with Puff Pastry

Brown the meat.

Remove the browned meat to a plate and set aside.

Add a little more oil in the pan and cook the sliced mushrooms.

Cook until golden brown.

Add onions and cook until soft.

Stir in tomato paste and garlic. Add thyme and rosemary.

Stir in one cup of the beef broth and scrap all the bits from the bottom of the pan.

Pour in the rest of the beef broth.

Add potatoes and meat to the pot.

Bring to a boil and cover. Bake in 325 degree oven for about 1 1/2-2 hours.

Remove pot from oven. Combine cornstarch and water. Add to the stew mixture and cook for a couple minutes until it has thickened. Stir in frozen vegetables. Taste and season. Remove from heat.

Put stew in oven proof bowls. Top with puff pastry. Press pastry around the bowl.

Apply the egg wash to the puff pastry.

Bake in 400 degree oven until the tops are nice and golden brown. Cover the bowls with tin foil if browning too fast.