Beef Cheek and Guiness Pot Pies with Truffle

Beef cheek and Guinness pot pies

(Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller)

Last time I visited Pemberton in Western Australia, I was lucky enough to enjoy a divine truffle degustation prepared by chef Sophie Zalokar at Foragers; a farm based cooking school. One of the most memorable dishes on the menu was the beef cheek and Guinness pies.  I came home vowing to try to recreate them with my own truffles.

Beef Cheek and guiness pot truffle pie

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2kg      beef cheek (allow for shrinkage)
  • 70 – 90g        Fresh black Perigord truffles
  • For dusting: seasoned flour
  • 30ml             olive oil
  • 8                     shallots
  • 2 stalks         celery
  • 1                     carrot, diced
  • 1 clove           garlic finely chopped
  • 150g              speck, diced
  • 500ml          beef stock
  • 1 can             Guinness
  • 30ml             Worcestershire sauce
  • 10                   sprigs of thyme
  • 3                     fresh bay leaves
  • 40g                plain flour
  • 1 egg              lightly beaten with 1tbsp of milk
  • Extra             Truffle slices to garnish
  • Pastry:          store-bought ‘Careme’ all butter puff pastry
  • 6                     375ml pot pie dishes

To serve:       roasted baby fennel bulbs and Jerusalem artichoke

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°c. Dust beef in flour and shake to remove any excess. Heat oil in a large frying pan to medium/high heat. Cook beef in frying pan for 4-5 minutes on each side until brown, remove from the pan and place in a roasting pan.
  2. Add onions, celery, carrot, garlic and speck and cook until vegetables are tender, around 4-5 minutes. Transfer to the roasting pan with the cheek.
  3. Add beef stock, stout and Worcestershire sauce to the frying pan, bring to the boil, pour over the beef and vegetable mixture in the roasting pan. Season with salt flakes and cracked pepper. Add thyme and bay leaves to the mixture. Wrap tightly with foil and cook for 5 hours or until the cheek falls apart.
  4. Remove the beef from the pan and using two forks, shred the cheeks coarsely and place in a large bowl. Strain liquid into a saucepan, pick out thyme stalks, add strained vegetables to beef, set aside to cool.
  5. Place the flour in a small bowl and add enough of the liquid to make a smooth thin paste. Simmer remaining liquid over medium high heat for around 15 minutes or until reduced to around 2 cups.
  6. Add the paste to the simmering liquid, whisking continuously until smooth and thick. Season to taste and pour over beef mixture and combine. Cool to room temperature.
  7. Spoon cooled mixture into six (6) individual pot pie dishes (approx. 375ml)
  8. Using a truffle slicer, finely slice your truffle allowing 12-15g per person. Poke the truffle slices into the center of the pie avoiding pushing it too close to the base.
  9. Top the pie with rounds of puff pastry, brushing lightly with egg and milk mixture. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and garnish with a fresh slice of black truffle.
  10. Serve with oven roasted artichoke and baby fennel bulbs.

NB: Keeping the truffle in the center of the pie will protect it’s delicate flavours from the heat. Avoid over cooking the pie or turning the temperature too high as the truffle will loose it’s flavour quickly when the centre reaches above 80°c.