1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
600g brisket, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, finely chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
500ml beef stock
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 small sprig bay leaves (or 3 dried bay leaves)
1 tbsp pickled peppercorns
75g triple cream cheese, chopped (for pie only)
½ cup grated vintage cheddar (for pie only)
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed (for pie only)
1 egg, lightly whisked
- Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Season the beef brisket with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook, turning for 6-8 minutes, or until golden.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, garlic and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the beef stock, 1 cup water, sugar, mustard, vinegar and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, partially cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until beef falls apart with a fork. Add the peppercorns and season. Cool.
FREEZE AS SLOW BRAISED BRISKET:
Spoon the brisket into freezer-proof, heatproof containers. Seal with a lid and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Remove the lid from the container. Cover with foil and place in the oven to heat for 30 minutes. Top with cheese. Turn oven onto grill and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling. Serve with steamed vegetables and mashed potato.
TO MAKE AND FREEZE AS PIES:
Spoon the brisket into 2 x 1 1/2 cup capacity ovenproof dishes. Top with cheese and press pastry on top of the container.
Trim the edges (you can use these to decorate a pattern on top of the pies). Brush with egg and sprinkle with pepper. Wrap in baking paper and foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced). Place the pies on an oven tray. Remove the foil and baking paper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden and puffed.
You can use any slow braising beef for this recipe. It is a great way to use up cheaper cuts of meat. If you don’t have puff pastry, you can top the pies with filo, leftover mashed potato, or just a slice of white sandwich bread (stale is fine). Using a rolling pin, flatten bread and trim to fit and press on top of the pie.