Thursday, April 28, 2011

G.G. cooks Donna Hay's Beef, Onion and Red Wine Pie

Confession time: I never really used to like Donna Hay. Eeeeeeeeekkk. Don't get mad at me, I can hear you, you crazy fans yelling at the computer screen. Stop please, or I won't be truthful. So... I just didn't get the whole 'I love Donna' craze. I wasn't that sold on her earlier recipe books and I didn't really warm to her when she was on the tv screen. The second really shouldn't matter though, should it?! Unfortunately whether I like someone 'personally' or not (I know, I know, I don't KNOW her personally...) somehow does influence the feelings I have towards buying the cook books. So basically you could sum up my attitude as 'not sold on Donna.'

So here I was going along in life, with not much Donna in it, until one of my friends (who didn't know about my indifference) bought me her Season's cook book as a gift. I am always appreciative of any gift, and I know my friend puts a LOT of thought into her gift giving, so one day I decided to get over myself and have a flick through. I was amazed. The styling of the food is absolutely gorgeous and the recipes are easy to follow and simple but interesting. I became immersed, reading the whole book from cover to back. I don't exactly know what started my unfairly cool attitude to Donna, but her Season's cook book certainly ended it.

Since then, I have decided to branch out and buy a couple of other of Donna's books- I've got 'No time to cook' and 'The instant cook' and am on the look out for others. I know she has a few, so if anyone has any suggestions, they would be much appreciated. I've even started buying Donna Hay Magazine.. Consider me a convert. 

Now that the weather is changing, I decided to look in the Season's book for some Autumn ideas and seeing I had scored some cheap rump ends at the markets, thought a pie was the order of the day. I also noticed a beef and mushroom pie recipe in the latest Donna Hay magazine (April/May) edition so I sort of did a combination of both.

The recipe follows below.

So, tell me readers - Have you ever had an unfair bias against someone?

Notes from G.G. -  
The pie turned out reasonably well, but I think omitting some of the liquid could be a good idea as I think there was just too much in there and I already took out about 1/3 out.

Don't preheat the oven at the beginning, wait until after you have cooked the filling because you don't need the oven to be on for 2 hours whilst slow cooking the meat.

I always leave a little longer than 1 1/2 hours for meat to cook down- 2 - 2 1/2 hours is better!

I put mushrooms in about 1/2 hour before the meat had finished cooking and this worked just fine for me. 

I didn't set my mixture aside to cool completely, naughty me, but it worked just as well and means that you don't need to cook for as long in the oven.

Beef, onion and red wine pie
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1kg beef chuck steak, chopped
1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) beef stock
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) of red wine
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon of thyme leaves
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 cup (60 ml) water - extra
1 x 200 g sheet store-bought shortcrust pastry, thawed
1 x 375 block store-bought puff pastry, thawed

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the oil and beef and cook in batches for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, water, wine, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender. Combine the cornflour and extra water, add to the beef mixture and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. Set aside to cool completely.

Line a 22cm pie dish with shortcrust pastry. Spoon the beef mixture into the dish. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface until 3-4mm thick. Cut out a 22cm round, place on top of the pie, press the edges of the pastry together and trim. Brush the top of the pie with the egg and make a slit in the top. Bake for 30-4o minutes or until the top is golden. 

7 fabulous comments:

Brisbane Devoured said...

I am the same, I never used to like Donna Hay, I thought she was snooty and didnt like her food... but I am now in possession of 3 of her cookbooks and am raving about the stuff in them and have made her white choc cupcakes 5 times.. whoops!

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Haha, I don't really get the appeal of Donna Hay either but I do admire her clean and simple styling. She apparently started her life as a stylist before becoming involved with the cooking side of things.

Jenn Brigole said...

I think I'm better off taking your advice over her's though, in the method of making this pie anyway, even though I don't have any of Donna's book. I "know" you better, that's why. :)

The InTolerant Chef said...

I think Donnas stying and photography is just lovely and her magazines are as lovely as a cookbook. The recipes are always easy to follow too.
I always think it's hard to 'know' someone by following them through the media, you don't get a clear view.
Glad you found some new recipes and cookbooks to love.

Nic@diningwithastud said...

I use to love Miguel from Boys Weekend until I met him at the Food and Wine Show in Sydney and now I wont watch any of his shows or buy any books (even though his food is acually quite tasty) because he was really disrespectful towards me while my fiance was standing there.
Ok rant over - Oh you pie looks so delicious! Well done! Iv got this book so I might give it a go :)

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Donna Hay... haha yeah I have one of her books, only because it's titled 'Chocolate' =D Something about her... that just irks me. Don't know why! Your pie sounds absolutely perfect for these miserable Autumn days!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find Donna's recipe for a steak pie with a different crust that was published in last Sunday Telegraph 1st Sept

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