Beef and Caramelised Shallot Pies with Cauliflower Tops

, from Issue #30. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Beef and Caramelised Shallot Pies with Cauliflower Tops

Does comfort food get any better than a hearty pie? We think not. Our recipe is made using beef, caramelised shallots and a buttery potato and cauliflower topping.



30 grams butter
1½ tablespoons olive oil
18 shallots, peeled but left whole
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 kilogram chuck or blade steak 
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cups beef stock

1 large potato, about 300 grams, peeled and cubed
½ small cauliflower, about 350 grams, cut into florets
45 grams butter
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3-4 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry


Preheat the oven to 170°C

Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan until sizzling, then add the shallots, bay leaves, sugar and vinegar. Stir well to combine then reduce the heat and cook the shallots slowly for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden but still holding their shape. Season with a little black pepper then remove from the pan and set aside. 

While the shallots are cooking trim the beef of any gristle, cut into cubes and toss in seasoned flour. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan, add the beef and cook until golden all over. Stir in the tomato paste and red wine letting the red wine bubble away then stir in the Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and beef stock. 

Transfer the mixture to a casserole and cover the surface directly with baking paper. Cover the pan and cook in the oven for 1¼-1½ hours. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, preferably overnight.

Topping: Peel and cube the potatoes and cut the cauliflower into florets. Cook in boiling salted water until tender. Drain well and mash with the butter and Dijon mustard. Season and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 6 individual pie tins with pastry and prick the base a couple of times using a fork. Divide the cold filling between the tins then top with the cauliflower mash. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the filling is piping hot. Serve with sautéed kale or other greens of choice. Makes 6 individual pies.