Even the name is adorable! And actually, the recipe I based it on is even more adorable – hers are more like a micro-mini meat pie, being made in mini-muffin pans instead of regular muffin pans.
This was phase 2 of the “let’s make Matt better via the judicious application of beef to his stomach” plan. It may not have worked on Saturday, but maybe it did work on Sunday, because he managed to get through a day of work on Monday. And it made me happy too, because as Audrey points out in her original blog post, anything wrapped in puff pastry is great. Plus it’s like a pot pie, which Matt is against in general, and which I am against when it’s just a bowl of filling with a puff pastry hat on top. Having the crust go all the way around the filling, underneath and everything, is key. It soaks up some gravy and gets just indescribably delicious. Was this the first step towards converting Matt to the joys of pot pies? Perhaps, although the fact that this was beef with a brown gravy and no interloping vegetables probably had much to do with his enjoyment of it.
I halved the recipe, and this meant I could halve the simmering time for the gravy, which is fantastic because I must have missed the line in the original recipe that said to simmer it for an hour. By the time I got to that step during the actual cooking, I did not have an hour. I decided I’d do half an hour and see how it was looking, and it looked fine, so. Oh, but what did not look fine was the majority of my finished pies – they were, um, bursting with flavour. Or maybe just straight-up bursting. I used the rim of a pint glass to cut out the circles of pastry, and it was really not big enough. I should have used a big mug or something. Or maybe, innovative idea, had some kind of large round cookie cutter. I tried to glue the lids on with egg wash, but in most cases this wasn’t happening. Oh well. The inside comes out as soon as you cut into them anyway, so is this a big deal? Clearly it is not.
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb steak, cubed small
1 small onion, chopped finely
3/4 cup stout (more Murphy’s! Matt couldn’t finish the can for me since he’d just taken cold medicine, so I took one for the team and guzzled it while talking on the phone to my dad about Japan – how international! Drinking an Irish beer used to make Australian meatpies in Boston and talking to a Canadian about Japan)
1/2 cup beef stock
a couple sheets frozen puff pastry – I used 1 sheet and a little corner of a second, but I should probably have used more
1 egg, beaten lightly
Heat the oil in a frying pan.
Add the beef and cook until it is browned on all sides.
Throw in the onion and saute until softened.
Add flour and mix until everything is coated and maybe a little brown.
Pour in the stock and stout, and stir until the gravy boils and thickens (you don’t have to be stirring constantly, that’s boring, but keep an eye on it).
Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, and leave it to simmer for 30 min, stirring occasionally.
At some point during this process, take the puff pastry sheets out to thaw. Also known as “don’t be me.”
If the gravy looks sufficiently thick and appetizing at this point, take it off the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes, then chuck it in the fridge to cool down all the way. Obviously leave it on the simmer if it doesn’t look ready yet.
While it’s cooling in the fridge, grease a muffin pan (this makes 6) or spray it with cooking spray or whatever you like to do to keep things from sticking.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Cut out big enough rounds of puff pastry to line each muffin cup.
Take out your gravy and spoon equal amounts into each lined cup.
Cut out a slightly smaller round of puff pastry to be the lid to each cup, and adhere them with a bit of the beaten egg.
Brush more egg over the tops and cut 2 slits in each lid.
Bung them into the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
Let them sit for a few minutes before eating them – this will be obvious if any filling has leaked out, because it will be bubbling away like crazy, and you’ll know you’d burn your face off if you tried to eat any. But rest assured that this is true even if your pies are better constructed than mine and all the insides stayed in.