Monday, August 28, 2017

French Onion Beef Pie

 So I have been binge watching a "brilliant" British show these days.  Notice the use of the word brilliant?  It's called the "The Great British Baking Show".  Here is the link; The Great British Baking Show

It's full of flavor combinations, extreme talent, artistry and believe it or not, even though it is a competition...
Kindness with each other.  They are not only kind to one another, but they encourage each other, and even give out a helping hand.
Call me old fashioned, but I'm loving it!

So it inspired me to bake.  As you know I do not really have a sweet tooth, so savory pies caught my attention.  What really caught my attention was this one form of crust I had never heard of called; "hot water crust pastry".  Hmmm...
Well I had to try it, no I really did, I was obsessed if you must ask.
I searched frantically for the crust recipe.  I found quite a few on the internet, and I will link below the one I used.
Then the question remained as to what to  fill it with.  An idea was casually forming in my mind if I have to be honest, I wanted a beefy and onion flavor of some kind.  I really love French onion soup, and what is not to love about the bread underneath all gooey with cheese?  "Aha", the rest as they say is history!  

This pie is absolutely delicious, and not just because I made it.  I feel like I am eating, literally French onion soup with beef.  Beefy, chock full of carmelized onions and the cheese, oh my goodness, we cannot forget the cheese!

So take a whirl with me my friends, it can be a little "fiddly" as the British say, but so worth it! 

Prep Time:  1 hour
Bake Time: 60-65 minutes
Yield: 8 


Hot Water Crust Pastry
*Next time since I doubled the recipe I  will add 3 cups of flour*

French Onion Filling:
5 cups onions, sliced thin in half moons
4 tbsp (60ml) butter, unsalted
2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil
1 tsp (5ml) salt
1 tsp (5ml) black pepper
1- 1/2 tsp (7.5ml) sugar
2 tbsp (30ml) all purpose flour
1 can (290g) condensed French Onion Soup, undiluted
8 Wheat Toasted Rusks broken into pieces

1-1/2 cups shredded melty cheese, like Gruyere or Mozzeralla

Stew Beef: 
1 lb (450g) stew beef, diced
2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil 
1 tbsp (15ml) Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp (5ml) black pepper
1 tsp (5ml) dried thyme
2 tsp (10ml) garlic powder

-In a medium pan add the butter and olive oil.  Add your onions and saute over medium heat till they have softened and reduced in volume, about 20 minutes.  

-As the onions are rendering, in a medium saute pan, add the olive oil and once heated, add the diced stew beef.  Saute until no longer pink and then add your spices along with the Worcestershire sauce.
Let saute over medium heat till all juices have evaporated and the pan is dry.  Set aside.

-Follow the instructions for the hot water crust and when the dough has been formed into a ball, let rest for about 25 minutes. 

-The onions should be nicely rendered down.  Add the salt, pepper, and sugar.  Saute for just a minute more, the sugar helps to caramelize the onions.  Add in the flour and cook for another additional 2 minutes until you can no longer see the flour.

-Add in the undiluted French Onion soup and the beef stew.  Let cook for 5 more minutes and turn off heat and let cool. 

-Preheat oven to 375F (190C).

-In your pie tin of choice, roll out half the crust, place in tin and ensure that the dough is slightly overlapping.  
Add 4 rusks broken up randomly, then the onion beef filling, top with remainder of the rusks and then finally the cheese.  Add the other half of the dough to the top of the pie and crimp edges ensuring the filling is well sealed. Place 3 slits on top of the pie so the steam can escape.

You should have a little left over dough.  You can freehand cut and decorate your pie if you would like, or not.  I chose to decorate, I mean I was inspired by their artistic designs!  

-Bake for 60-65 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 35 minutes prior to cutting.  I highly recommend the pie tins that you can push up from  the bottom and it removes the sides.

I served it simply with fresh summer tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt and oregano.

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi