Beef and Red Wine Pies with Pumpkin and Spiced Mash

, from Issue #37. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Beef and Red Wine Pies with Pumpkin and Spiced Mash

About 30 years ago I enjoyed cooking from a book by Gretta Anna Teplitzky, who had a cooking school in Sydney. She introduced me to the method of ‘no sautéing’ when doing long, slow-braised meat dishes and I’ve used it ever since. The secret is to use good quality stock and wine to ensure the dish develops a rich, deep flavour.


1½ kilograms boneless beef shin, diced 4 cm
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon soy sauce
zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 whole star anise
¾ cup crushed Italian tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

600 grams pumpkin
400 grams floury potatoes, such as Agria
1 tablespoon cream
small knob of butter

2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

6 x 350 ml capacity ovenproof ramekins


Preheat the oven to 150˚C.

Filling: Combine all the ingredients in a large ovenproof casserole and season well. Place a piece of baking paper onto the surface of the meat and cover with a tight fitting lid or aluminium foil. Bring to the boil on the hob then transfer to the oven and cook for 3½ – 4 hours, stirring occasionally until the meat is meltingly tender.

If the liquid is too thin, remove the lid and baking paper and continue to cook until the juices are reduced and syrupy. The stew can be made 3 days ahead.Cool, cover and refrigerate but remove from the fridge 2 hours before assembling the pies.

Pumpkin: Peel and roughly chop the pumpkin and potatoes before cooking in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, return to the saucepan and place back over a low heat to drive off the excess moisture. Mash with the cream and butter and season well.

Onions: Cook the onions in the butter with a good pinch of salt until tender and golden. Add the ginger, garlic and allspice and cook for another 2 minutes. Season and stir into the mashed pumpkin.

To assemble and cook: Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Divide the beef stew between the ramekins and top with the pumpkin mash. Cook until the pies are hot and bubbling. If you want more colour on the mash, place under a hot grill for a few minutes.
Makes 6 pies