I'm not going to lie to you, this is a start-in-the-afternoon dish that you can count on dedicating some time to. If you're short on time, save this recipe for another day, but If you're on winter holiday, sick of running around shopping or engaging in other seasonal stresses, or just want to have an excuse to turn the oven on for a few hours and benefit from an additional source of heat- this Beef Cheek Pie has you covered.
This recipe is partially inspired by Sam Sifton's Guinness Pie recipe with added inspiration from Holybelly's Beef Cheek Stew with Fried Polenta and Salad recipe (page 100, My Paris Market Cookbook). I switched out Sifton's brisket for a hearty cut of beef cheek and substituted Guinness for one of my very own homebrews in order to make this hearty one dish meal that is perfect for a winter dinner.
You can use any dark or amber beer in this recipe, which will bring a nice bitterness to balance with the sweetness of stewed winter vegetables. Slow cooking renders the beef cheek melt-in-your-mouth delicious, making the hours of waiting worth it!
800 grams (about 1 1/2 pounds) beef cheek
2 tbsps butter
1 large red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 celery stalks, thickly sliced
250 grams (about a dozen) button mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 tbsps canola oil
3 tbsps all purpose flour
1 75 cl bottle of dark or amber beer
125 grams (1 cup) grated hard cheese like cheddar, comté, cantal, or tome
Pâte Brisé (page 48, My Paris Market Cookbook)
1 egg yolk
For the marinade :
1-2 cups red wine
1 sprig rosemary
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt & Pepper
Marinade the beef cheek in red wine, the beef cheek should be at least halfway submerged in the wine (and flipped once or twice to be evenly covered throughout the marinade period). Add rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper and let sit, covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator overnight- or at least a few hours before making the tart. Cut the beef cheek into uniform 1 inch x 1 inch pieces once taken out of the marinade.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (375°F)
In a large, oven safe pot, melt butter then add onions and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.
Add carrots, celery, and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms give, and then reabsorb, their juices.
In a medium sized pan, heat canola oil and brown beef cheek by letting cook about a minute on each side.
Add beef cheek, flour, and any remaining rosemary and thyme, to the large pot and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes.
Add enough beer to cover the pot's contents. Cover pot and put in the oven to cook for 1 1/2 hour.
After 1 1/2 hour in the oven, check to see if the stew has thickened. If not, cook on medium high heat on the stove top to reduce, otherwise, remove from oven and set aside.
Roll out pâte brisé to about 1/4 inch thick and large enough to cover a 1 1/2 - 2 inch deep pyrex baking dish.
Fill dish with stew, sprinkle with grated cheese, and cover with the pâte brisé, pinching along the sides to seal the pie top. Use a sharp knife to slice a few air holes into the crust, then brush with egg yolk.
Bake tart for 45 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.