Oysters are the jewels in the crown in this Beef, Bacon and Oyster Pie recipe, created by Gareth Stewart, columnist and executive chef of Nourish Group.
300 grams diced beef cheek
plain flour for dusting
olive oil for cooking
8 baby onions, peeled and halved
1 clove garlic
3 field mushrooms, diced
150 grams bacon lardons
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 tablespoon butter
2 large tablespoons plain flour
150ml red wine
500ml reduced beef stock
sea salt and ground pepper
400 grams puff pastry
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
6 freshly shucked oysters
Six 150ml-capacity pie moulds
Preheat the oven to 130°C.
Dust the beef with seasoned flour and brown in a large sauté pan in a little oil. Place in a colander to drain.
In the same pan, brown the onions, garlic and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, then add the bacon lardons, bay leaf and thyme. Continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, add the butter to melt, then stir in the flour. When the flour turns into a roux, deglaze with the red wine. Reduce the red wine by two-thirds before adding the beef stock.
Add the beef back to the onion and mushroom mix and continue to cook on the stove for approximately 5 minutes, or until the sauce is a thick consistency. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to an ovenproof pan or a casserole pot. Cover with a cartouche and foil and cook for 3 hours, or until the beef is tender.
Allow to cool on the stovetop, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Roll out the puff pastry so that it is 5mm thick. Cut 6 rounds of puff pastry, approximately 12cm in diameter, and 6 rounds 8cm in diameter. In the middle of each 8cm round, cut a 2.5cm hole.
Spray or grease the pie moulds with oil and then line each mould with a 12cm round of puff pastry. Make sure you press the pastry right into the edges and allow a little pastry for an overlap.
Fill the pastry bases with the beef mix. Brush the edges of the pastry bases with a little egg yolk. Place the pastry lids on top and use a fork to crimp around the edges. Brush the lids with egg yolk and rest for 30 minutes in the fridge before cooking. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
When the pies come out, stuff an oyster into each of the holes on top.