This week we decided to celebrate national pie week and the launch of one of our new fulfilment clients (MIA) with a recipe! MIA (Made In Africa) is single origin chocolate crafted “bean-to-bar” in Africa with a range of delicious premium varieties.
Our resident chef (and Commercial Manager) Jacob (@Jacoblidl) cooked up a delicious beef & cocoa pie. Not your traditional sweet dish using cocoa, we wanted to showcase chocolates lesser know ability to add depth and complexity to savoury dishes.
Hope you enjoy and get a chance to try yourself at home! Do send in your pictures.
- Oil & butter
- 1.5 kilos of beef shin & rib mixed (having some bone on the rib adds additional flavour to the stew, ask your butcher to pre cuck the rib into small pieces)
- 100-150g flour (enough to coat the beef)
- 3 medium onions, thinly sliced (I like having “strings” of onion in a stew)
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 200ml red wine
- 100ml port
- 60ml red wine vinegar
- 100g sultanas
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 500ml beef stock (use 2 cups if you want a runnier consistency to the liquid)
- 50g pine nuts
- 50g MIA 100% cocoa dark chocolate
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 x 375g pre-rolled packs of puff pastry (or make it yourself if you can be bothered!!)
- Brown the beef in flour
- Sauté the veg & brown the pine nuts for 8-10 mins
- Add the alcohol and wine vinegar and simmer for 2-3 mins
- Add the rest of ingredients (apart from the chocolate)
- Slow cook for as long as possible
- Add the chocolate
- Tear the beef apart into strips
- Line ramekins with butter then pastry
- Fill and top the pies
- Observe you handy work!
- Bake the pies at 160-170°C for 45 mins until golden brown
- Serve and eat!
1. Brown the beef
Put the flour into bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Chuck the beef in and make sure it’s completely coated.
Put a good splash of oil (2-3 tbsp) and a knob of butter into a pan and brown the beef in 2-3 batches until beautifully brown and caramelised (browning meat thoroughly adds beautifully rich and intense flavours to dishes as well as colour). You may need to add a dash more oil or butter between batches to stop the meat sticking.
2. Sauté the veg & brown the pine nuts
After chopping the veg, sauté on a low heat for 8-10 mins
While this is happening, either brown the pine nuts in the oven on a medium heat for 7-8 mins or toast in a dry frying pan.
3. Add the alcohol!
Add the red wine, red wine vinegar & port and boil for 2-3 mins to evaporate the alcohol
4. Add the rest of ingredients — but not the chocolate!
Add the pine nuts, sultanas, bay leaves, cinnamon, nutmeg and beef stock.
5. Slow cook
Mix all the cooked ingredients (not the cocoa) in a pan or slow cooker. There should be just enough water to barely cover the beef. It should be peaking out like icebergs form the sauce. This will ensure a nice thick stew once it’s done.
Simmer on a low heat (90-100°C) for as long as possible. I put it on at 11am and left it till 7pm. By this point the meat will be beautifully tender and moist. If you take a chunk out and press it with a fork it should immediately fall apart into strips.
If you can’t wait that long you can also cook it at a higher temperature (140-150°C) for 3-4 hours. However, the longer you cook and the lower the temperature you use the better it will be!
6. Add the chocolate
Add the chocolate and stir into the stew until fully dissolved.
7. Pull the Beef
Tear the beef apart with two forks so the stew comprises of lovely strings of pulled beef
The easiest way to do this is probably by taking the pieces out of the stew tearing them apart on a plate and putting them back in the stew. Bit of a hassle, but worth it for the final result in the pie!
Add salt and pepper to taste
8. Line ramekins with pastry
Take 8 ramekins and coat the inside of each with butter
Place four ramekins onto the pastry in a square. There should be about a cm over the edge of each ramekin. Cut four squares in the pastry around the ramekins.
Carefully push the squares into each ramekin and fold a bit of pastry over the edge of each ramekin (you may need to roll each square out a bit to ensure there is enough pastry to fold over the edges). Be careful not to allow any air at the bottom of the ramekin.
9. Fill and top the pies
Cut another square from the remaining pastry and place over the pie. Use a fork to seal the edges of the pastry and pull the remaining pastry away.
From this point on, you should have enough pastry left after pulling the remaining pastry away to roll out a circle for the following pie top.
Make a few incisions in the pies to allow air to escape during cooking.
10. Observe you handy work!
Sit back and look at your beautiful pies!
Bake the pies at 160-170°C for 40 mins till golden brown on top (If you want a nice sheen, you can brush with a light egg wash)
12. Serve and eat!
To serve, I cooked some mashed potato (add a nob of butter and some nutmeg when mashing) and simply sautéed some finely sliced leeks in a pan on a low heat with the lid on while the pies were cooking
Get it all on a plate and enjoy your hard work!!