Tuscan beef casserole or pie

Tuscan beef casserole or pie

This Tuscan-inspired casserole is enjoyable as is, or served under a rich Parmesan pastry pie top. To make the pies, allow the beef mixture to cool well before putting it into a large pie dish or individual dishes.

Preparation Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients / serves 6

  • 1 kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • ¼ cup pitted black olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1½ cups beef stock
  • ¼ cup red wine

Method

1.
Preheat the oven to 160°C-180°C. Cut beef into 2cm cubes. Season with salt and pepper, add about 2 tbsp of oil and mix well.
2.
Heat a large pan over a moderately high heat. Brown the beef in 3-4 batches. Remove each batch and place it in a casserole dish.
3.
Reduce heat in pan, add a little oil, onion, garlic, eggplant and capsicum, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, oregano, tomato paste, flour, stock, wine and tomato paste, stirring well until the mixture boils. Pour over beef.
4.
Cover, place in the oven and simmer for approximately 2 hours or until the beef is very tender. Stir occasionally and adjust the heat as required to maintain simmer. Add a little water or stock if needed to keep the ingredients just covered.
Cooktop method: Place the browned beef and other ingredients in a heavy-based pot. Partially cover, keep the heat low. Simmer until the meat is very tender. Stir occasionally; add water if needed during the cooking time to keep ingredients well covered.
To make a pie using the Tuscan beef casserole mix
? Sift 2 cups flour and 1/2 salt into a bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in 200g chilled diced butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir through ½ cup finely grated parmesan and make a well in the centre.
? Mix 1 egg yolk with 3 tablespoons of chilled water and pour into the well. Use a knife to cut the ingredients together, adding the extra water if required. Alternatively, mix in the food processor. Turn out onto a floured bench, knead lightly to bring together. Wrap and put aside until required.
? Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Transfer the Tuscan beef casserole to a large 6-cup capacity pie dish or 5–6 individual pie dishes.
? Roll the dough out to 3mm thickness. Cut sufficient 1cm wide strips of pastry to run around the edge of the pie dish or dishes. Brush the edges with water – this ensures the pastry strips stay in place. Press the pastry strips on.
? Roll the remaining pastry over the top and press firmly onto the pastry edge. Trim the edges and use the trimming to cut out decorations for the pie top if wished.
? For individual pies, divide the pastry evenly into 5–6 portions before rolling each out to cover the pie dishes.
? Brush with beaten egg or milk for a golden top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked and the filling is hot. Serve with your favourite winter vegetables.

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Tuscan beef casserole or pie

Tuscan beef casserole or pie
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