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  • 2 Black Angus beef cheeks
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 8oz  button mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4  bottle of good red wine
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 1kg of short curst pastry
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 100 gram cornflour
  • 2-3 slivers of orange zest (optional)

Prep:

Preheat oven to 150 celsius.

Trim beef cheeks and cut into 1-2 inch pieces.  It doesn’t have to be perfect as the fat and sinew will dissolve during cooking.  Season beef cheek with salt and pepper &  plain flour

Dice onions, 1 celery stick and 1 carrot quarter the mushrooms.

Take the other carrot and celery stick, the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves and tie together with string.

Fry the Cheaks:

Heat a casserole dish over medium heat for a few minutes, add vegetable oil, when the oil is simmering, add a few pieces of floured  beef cheek to the pan, making sure not to add too much meat at once so that it can sear.  Fry for 2 minutes, until well browned, and flip.  Sear for another minute or two, and remove to a plate.  Repeat for all of the beef, adding more oil as needed. The brownig of the meat in this way adds a lote of flavour to the dish.

Slow Braise The Meat:

Add onions to the dish and cook until translucent. Return beef to the pot, and add the diced carrot and celery plus the ties celery, carrot and herbs.  Add red wine to deglaze the pan, then add the beef stock.  Add more beef stock if needed so that all the meat is covered.  Bring to a boil. At this point I like to add 2 slivers of orange zest to the mix, this adds a freshness that helps cut through the rich falvours – but this isn’t for everyone.

Place the lid on casserole dish and braise in the oven for about 2.5 hours.  After 2.5 hours, take the dish out and remove the tied up celery and herbs, at this time add the mushrooms to the casserole.  Replace the lid and braise for another 30 minutes.  The meat is done once it’s very tender and falls apart easily with a fork.

Thicken the Sauce:

Remove casserole and place it on the stovetop, lightly simmer the dish on the stovetop with the lid off until liquid has reduced by a quarter.  Mix the cornflour with a little water and add to the braise strirring continuously allowing to simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken.  Allow the braise to cool,  otherwise it will trear the pastry when filling the cases.

Bake the pies:

Roll the pie crust out to fit the size of your individual pie tins.  Scoop the filling generously into the pie crust so that it forms a slight mound above the level of the pide mould.  Top with the other pie crust, and seal the edges with beaten egg, brush the rest of the egg wash over the pie crust so that it truns golden brown when baking. Pierce a hole in the lid to allow steam to escape.

Bake for Approximately 30 minutes at 170 degrees celsius

 

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