Reader recipe: Braised beef cheek, wild mushroom and caramelised onion pie, served with kumara mash
Photo by Tam West
Chris Nemeth is the winner of our reader competition, which called for recipes for a meal for 4 for $20. All 162 recipes are in our reader recipe section — take a look, there are a lot of delicious ideas.
Chris says: I decided to create a new dish for this competition, inspired by the rule that it needs to feed 4 for under $20. This is a great example of how secondary cuts of meat can produce an amazing result. This dish is all about texture and flavour, and could easily feed four adults. You could serve it as a rustic, deep dish pie, or present it as a more gourmet “deconstructed” version. Each item was costed, right down to the coriander seeds used (even the 25g of flour) and everything came in under budget by 5 cents — a total of $19.95. You just need to shop smartly. The biggest “win” in this dish was, without a doubt, the 100g of dried mixed wild mushrooms bought at the Asian supermarket for $4.70. Wild mushrooms are hugely expensive, but these, when reconstituted, were simply fantastic in this dish. The end result was awesome, if I do say so myself, and it will certainly be made again (for guests this time), in the near future.
Bite judges say: The flavour in this dish smacks you in mouth — in a really good way — and the beef cheeks are meltingly tender. Caramelising the onions and adding them separately is a trick we will be stealing for other dishes too. Thanks Chris, this is one impressive $20 dinner for four.
|800 g||Beef cheeks, cut into cubes|
|2 cloves||Garlic, finely chopped|
|2 sprigs||Chopped rosemary|
|1 tsp||Coriander seeds, well crushed (or grind them in a mortar and pestle)|
|1½ Tbsp||Tomato paste|
|2 Tbsp||Dark soy sauce|
|1 Tbsp||Worcestershire sauce|
|2 cubes||Beef stock, dissolved in 500ml hot water, or 500ml beef stock|
|100 g||Wild mushrooms, dried|
|2 large||Onions, sliced|
|2 large||Golden kumara, chopped|
|1 block||Flaky puff pastry, rolled|
- Heat oven to 180C.
- Brown the beef cheeks well, in half the oil, in a heavybased pot (or dutch oven).
- Add the chopped garlic, chopped rosemary and coriander seeds and gently fry for about a minute.
- Add the tomato paste and fry for another minute.
- Add soy and worcestershire sauces and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle over the flour and stir through.
- Slowly add the hot stock, continuing to stir. Ensure meat is fully covered with liquid, if not top up with hot water. Bring everything to the boil, stirring all the time. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- While the beef is cooking, reconstitute the dried mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes.
- In a frying pan, gently fry the onions in the rest of the oil until golden, soft and slightly caramelised. Season with salt and pepper.
- Chop the peeled kumara and boil in salted water until soft enough to mash.
- After 1½ to 2 hours, remove the meat, check for tenderness and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Once nearly ready, add the mushrooms and onions to the pot and, if needed, top up with some of the liquid used to soak the mushrooms. Cook for a further 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 190C.
- Roll out the pastry and cut 4 large round individual pie lids (or ladle the beef mixture into a pie dish and cover with the pastry). Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
- Mash the kumara and season well with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the beef and mushrooms on to a plate, top with a pastry lid and serve with a side of kumara mash.