Beef cheek chilli pie
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Fiona Andersen
For the pie filling
For the pie base pastry
- Heat oven to 170C.
- Gently toast dried chillies in a small frying over a low heat for 2 minutes on each side until fragrant. (Do not burn them as they will become bitter).
- Soak toasted chillies in a bowl of hot water for 10-15 minutes to soften. Remove chillies from the water and discard the stems and seeds.
- Place chillies, cumin, pepper and salt into a mortar and pestle or small food processor and grind to a smooth paste with 50 ml of water, adding a little more water to loosen the mixture as required. Set chilli paste to one side.
- Cut the beef cheeks in half. Heat half the fat or oil in a large heavy based frying pan and colour beef well on all sides.
- Remove beef from the pan and set to one side. Add remaining fat and gently fry the onion and garlic without letting it colour until just soft.
- Add stock and whisk in the masa harina and chilli paste until the stock starts to thicken slightly. Use a little extra masa harina if required. Stir in brown sugar and vinegar and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Place the beef in a small roasting tray with raised sides and pour the sauce over the top. Cover with baking paper and foil and bake in the oven for 1½ - 2 hours or until tender.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the fridge until completely cold.
- Meanwhile, make base pastry. Place flour and butter in a food processor and blend until butter is rubbed in. Add milk and salt and pulse until a soft dough starts to form. Remove pastry and knead on a lightly floured bench to form a smooth dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before use.
- To assemble the pies, heat oven to 220C. Unwrap pie base pastry and roll out on a lightly floured bench top to a 30x30cm square, 3-4mm thick. Place 4 10cm round pie tins on a baking tray.
- Gently drape the pastry over pie tins and gently press pastry into each pie tin, leaving in one piece. Remove pie filling from fridge and spoon into the centre of each pie. Brush pastry lip of each pie with a little cold water.
- To prepare pie tops, roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured bench top to a 30 x 30cm square, 3-4mm thick. Drape over pies and gently press down on the edge of each pie tin to seal top and bottom and cut extra pastry away from the side. Remove excess pastry and brush pie tops with beaten egg.
- Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow pastry to rest before baking for 20 minutes or until pastry is a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Serve with plain boiled potatoes, mash and/or wilted greens. Pies will keep for up to one week in the fridge.
* You can buy dried chillies and masa harina from some speciality food stores or online at mexicanspecialities.co.nz or tiopablo.co.nz