22 March 2009

Short crust Flaky dough/Pâte brisée

Here is a very versatile pastry dough a friend of mine gave me, it is perfect and works every time, the secret is to not overwork the dough.

Short crust Flaky dough
For 1 x 11 to 12" (28 to 30 cm) diameter tart dish
200 gr / 1.5 cup All purpose flour
113 gr / 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and diced
1/2 Tsp salt
75 gr / 4 TBSP ice cold water (place a couple of ice cubes in a glass of water)

In a food processor place flour, butter and salt and pulse a few times untill you obtain a kind of crumble then add the water and pulse a couple more times, DO NOT overwork.
Take the mixture out on a cling film/plastic food wrap and by hand form a ball by gently pressing it together, then place a second sheet of cling film on top of the ball of dough and roll the dough out between the 2 sheets of film into the desired thickness.
This will make it easy to roll and lay into the dish you choose by simply peeling of the top layer of film and inverting the dough on the dish and peeling of the second sheet of film.

Last minute "steak" and Guinness pie

Last Tuesday I got home at 17h and given that it was St Patrick's day and my history with Ireland we had to have something Irish for dinner, so I put together a last minute Guinness pie with what I had in the fridge.

Last minute "steak" and Guinness pie
For 6 (or 4 very hungry appetites!)
3 slices Bacon, chopped
1 big yellow Onion
1 TBSP brown sugar
6 Mushrooms, sliced
1 bottle Guinness 12 fl oz
1 TBSP flour
1 Pound ground beef (since this is last minute I had no time to simmer the steak for hours and ground beef worked just as well)
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
1 Courgette, small and diced
1/2 cup to 1 cup Green peas
1 small head Broccoli
Thyme, Rosemary, Pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Flaky pastry dough (see separate recipe)

In a large frying pan sauté the chopped bacon, then after a couple of minutes add the thinly sliced onion and sauté till it get a slightly caramelised colour, add 1 TBSP brown sugar then the sliced mushrooms.
After 5mn pour some of the Guinness over the mixture and let it simmer on low heat for 10 to 15mn, half way through add the TBSP of flour to thicken the sauce, pour more Guinness and continue simmering, adding salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary (don't put too much salt as the Worcestershire sauce has still to be added later).
When the sauce/gravy is thick enough add the ground beef and let everything simmer, add more Guinness when necessary, the mixture should not be too wet or too dry.
Then add the carrots, courgette, green peas and broccoli and stir all.
By this time the entire bottle of Guinness should have been poured and sufficiently evaporated so the mix is just moist enough.
Add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, make sure you taste.
Pour all in an oven proof dish (Pyrex in my case), spread evenly and cover with rolled out flaky dough, tucking it in the sides of the dish, make a few holes for the steam to escape.
Place in pre-heated oven at 400 F for 30mn or so (until the dough is baked).
When baked remove from the oven, and for a personal touch add a few drops of Jameson Irish Whiskey in each of the steam holes and place in the oven for a further 5mn then take out and let stand for 5mn and serve... with a pint of Guinness, of course ;-)
Slánte! (Irish for "to your health")

17 March 2009

Happy St Patrick's day!

The recipe of this Guiness pie will follow shortly,
in the meantime have a very happy St Patrick's day!