Troy's Black Pepper Beef Cheek Pie
With a puffed, golden pastry lid that tops a rich ragu, a pot pie is a satisfying undertaking over a laid-back afternoon. Once the braise begins to blip away on the stove, it can be left alone while an easy, buttery pastry is prepared.
For our pastry, we favour Danielle Marie-Alvarez’s flaky pastry. Her first cookbook, Always Add Lemon, is a stalwart on our shelves and we’re eagerly awaiting the publication of her her newest cookbook, Recipes for a Lifetime of Beautiful Cooking.
With plenty of essential tips, her pastry is simple to execute and can be nailed by even the most novice of bakers. For this pot pie, we use Troy’s recipe for a beef cheek ragu, enriched by our pepper sauce, then topped with Danielle’s flaky pastry.
1 kilo of beef cheeks
200g plain flour
200ml olive oil
200g plain flour
2 x carrots peeled and diced
2 x brown onions, diced
1 x stick celery, diced
2 x tablespoons tomato paste
4 x cloves of garlic minced
150ml red wine
1 litre chicken stock
2 x tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
2 x jars of Meatsmith pepper sauce
1 x quantity of Danielle's flaky pastry
3 x egg yolks
To make the filling
Coat the cheeks liberally with the flour and set aside for 15 mins. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat then add 100ml of olive oil. Add the cheeks to the pan without overcrowding the pot and brown them for about 8 minutes, making sure to turn them frequently until they are well caramelised all over.
Set the browned cheeks aside on a plate while you prepare the sauce. Add the remaining oil, celery, onions, and carrot, and then cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and tomato paste to the sautéed vegetables and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the red wine to deglaze your pot and cook until the wine has reduced by half. At this point, return the beef cheeks to the pot with the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the pot up to a very gentle simmer and place its lid on. Turn the stove down to its lowest setting and cook for 3 hours. Remove the lid and cook for a further 45 mins. Once the cheeks are tender, remove the pan from the heat, season with salt and pepper and set it aside to cool completely.
To assemble the pie
Fill the pie dish ¾ full with the cooled filling and spoon over two jars of Meatsmith pepper sauce (the pepper sauce provides an optional, delicious kick). Sprinkle over the chopped, fresh rosemary leaves.
Roll the pastry out to about 4mm thick on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll the dough up on a rolling pin and place it onto the pie dish, leaving about 4cm handing over the dish and cut away any of the excess pastry.
Work your way around the edge of the dish by pinching the pastry and pushing it down on the edge of the dish. Once you have crimped all the way around the edge, work your way around again, rolling the pastry into the inside edge of the dish.
Preheat the oven to 190C. Brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg yolk and place the pie into the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Season the top of the pie with a sprinkling of salt and place into the oven to bake for 45 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and is golden brown.
Remove the pie from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.