Since making those lemon curd tarts the other day I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all of the amazing pastry possibilities available to me.
Over the weekend I’ve been experimenting with a few different ideas, but these in particular turned out really well. Beef pies! As an Australian I’ve missed eating beef pies since going low carb, but these really hit the spot!
(Makes 4 individual pies)
For the filling:
500g stewing beef (gravy beef, rump steak, etc), cut into cubes
1 cup red wine (optional – if not using wine, replace with same quantity of beef stock)
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
For the pastry:
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tbsp psyllium husk
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water
A pinch of salt
To make the beef filling:
1. Preheat your oven to 150ºC. Add some olive oil to a large pan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Remove the onion and garlic and place in a large ovenproof dish.
2. Season the beef then brown in the pan over medium heat. You may have to do this in batches. Once brown, place the beef in the same overproof dish as the onion and garlic.
3. Mix the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and 1/2 cup of wine together in a bowl. Deglaze the pan with the remaining wine, scraping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom. Add the Worcestershire/tomato paste/wine mixture, as well as the beef stock, salt and pepper, and mix everything together. Simmer over medium heat for a few minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken.
4. Add the sauce to the meat and onion in the ovenproof dish, followed by your herbs. Stir everything together and ensure that the meat is covered by liquid. If you need to, add some more beef stock.
5. Cover and cook in the oven for 2.5 – 3 hours, until the beef pulls apart easily. If the sauce needs thickening you can heat it in a pan over medium heat, or mix some xanthum gum with hot water to form a paste, and add it to the sauce.
6. Shred the meat and leave to cool.
To make the pastry:
7. Turn the oven up to 180ºC. To make the pastry, mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for 1 egg, and stir until everything is incorporated and smooth. If the dough is still a little sticky, add some more coconut flour and/or psyllium husk.
8. Knead the pastry together, then shape into a brick and cut into six equal parts. Four of these will make the pie cases, and the remaining two will be used for the lids.
9. Press four of the six portions of dough into four greased muffin tray moulds, trying to ensure that the thickness is even all around. Use a fork to pierce the dough a few times to allow air through, so that the shells don’t puff up too much.
10. Blind bake the pie shells in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until they begin to brown.
11. Meanwhile, use a rolling pin to roll the remaining two portions of pastry between two sheets of baking paper, trying to make it as thin and even as possible. Cut into circles, the same size as the muffin trays. To do this I used a large measuring cup.
12. Once the pie crusts have browned, remove them from the oven and spoon the meat filling into each one. Carefully transfer the cut circles of pastry from the baking paper to the top of each pie. Press the edges into the sides of the crust, being sure not to tear the dough.
13. Lightly beat the remaining egg in a bowl and brush a little over the top of each pie with a pastry brush. You will probably only use 1 tbsp of the egg to do all 4 pies.
14. Return the pies to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown
15. Remove from the oven and serve with mashed cauliflower, broccoli, or some low sugar tomato sauce, if you’re that way inclined.