2017 Update: Due to a problem with Photobucket, see here, there will be a lot of recipes without photos. I will be slowly redoing the recipe pages, as best I can, but many other posts will be impossible to replace. I’m doing this in my own time, while continuing to update the blog with new recipes and posts. If you’d like to donate, any amount appreciated, you can do so here. The site will always be free, the recipes will never be locked behind a paywall, but this is a lot of additional work. I’m not demanding or begging, just putting it there so if you feel like repaying my hard work you have that option. I don’t make any money from the site, all that I do here is to help others, I couldn’t charge for that.
This camera makes everything look good.
Yes, this is a variation of my BNS Cottage Pie, still a staple dinner for me. This was inspired in part by a pie that’s nicknamed: Paddy Pie. It’s a beef brisket under potato cooked in a wine gravy. A fancy Shepard’s Pie in other words. I thought I could play with that a little to give myself a little variety in my pies. There is an ideal version of this that if my squash grows well I’ll be able to make. A harlequin topping instead of the sweet potato as it emulates potato perfectly. For now this is more than good enough. There’s nothing extraordinary here, but it covers a lot of intolerances and allergies and gives you a filling, rich, but not too decadent meal. One that can be made in advance, frozen and cooked with no worries of loss in quality.
This makes four large servings, but you can makes it however you want.
This is one of those recipes, that though it takes time to prepare isn’t all that complex. There are numerous stages, but you can change it at every single one. You could use beef you had left over from a roast, you can add whatever vegetables you’d like. You can fiddle with it and because it’s a really simple, but satisfying, dish you won’t be able to go far wrong. It’s hard to tell if I’ve covered all the necessary steps properly, a lot of this was winged and you can’t always tell if it’ll be clear to someone else. If you have any questions, if anything is unclear just ask. I cook my beef in vacuum bags, sealed with a machine, but I cook it using a rice cooker with a slow cook setting. Fill it with water and the next day you have tender, shredded beef. How you cook the beef is up to you. Just make sure your machine is suitable if you are trying.
Cashew butter is the only nut butter that works this well in gravy. Stays smooth even with a reheat after a freeze
One of the things I ave to do, but also enjoy doing, is seeing all the way I can use the ingredients that comprise my weekly meals. Nothing here is new, I use all these throughout the week, even using these ingredients to make a more traditional meal. Back in the fat days I used to eat an entire side of beef, which meant that when I stated to move away from those days, to the days of Jack and Roses, beef was left by he wayside. Oh, that’s a terrible image. Beef, abandoned by the side of the road. A roadside roast. Anyway, beef wasn’t something I ate, I couldn’t at first, my gut was healing I’d guess, but my Mother started sous viding her beef and instead of the hard lumps that passed for meat they were tender, juicy beef. Naturally I ad to try and here we are.
There will be some cleaning up I’m afraid.
So what does a Jack Pie, so tempting to call it that, but I like descriptive names better, taste like? Like beef, in gravy with sweet potato. Heh. Let’s break it down a little. The beef is tender, as you can see in the photo above. It does have a slight dryness to it, but when you combine it with the rich, thanks to the juices, gravy it becomes a juicy, toothsome meat. The sweet potato topping is creamy and distinct enough to work well with the gravy. The cashew butter is the secret to the thick and velvety gravy. As I say I will try this with harlequin squash if possible. If you can tolerate them then potato would be great here. I added carrot to get a little extra goodness, you could also add peas. It’s very soft compared to mince, but I like the different texture. The best way to get a varied diet is to know different ways of preparing the same ingredients. I hope you’ll enjoying look at these photos, reading about the steps and thoughts behind them, maybe even try the recipe for yourselves. Until later, dear reader.
I could eat the top when grilled forever.
For The Meat:
1 Kilograms Round Roast Beef or Preferred Cut
1 Beef Stock Cube
Salt and Pepper to Taste
For The Gravy
1 Beef Stock Cube dissolved in 600ml Reserved Juices, Topped up with Water as Needed
1/2 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Large Carrot, Chopped Fine
4 Tbsp Cashew Butter
1 Tbsp Thyme or 3 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp Parsley 3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Garlic Granules
1/4 Tsp Salt
Olive Oil for Frying
For The Topping
1000g Cubed Sweet Potato
150g Red Cheddar, Grated
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
Makes Four Servings.
1. Season the Beef and seal it and the stock cube in a vacuum food bag, leaving room for the juices to accumulate, then using your preferred method cook until beef is fork tender and shreddable. Takes about 16 hours in a slow cooker. When ready sieve and drain Juices into a jug and set aside. Shred beef with a fork and put into a bowl and set aside.
2. Fry the Onion and Carrot in the Olive Oil until soft, being careful not to burn. Mix together the Herbs, Pepper, Garlic, Cashew Butter and the Stock until everything has combined and the Nut Butter has dissolved. Add to the pot with the Onion and Carrot and bring to a boil, leave for a few minutes, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring as needed, for about ten minutes or gravy has thickened.
4. Add cooked Gravy to Shredded Beef, stirring together until well combined. Spoon into containers.
5. Steam the Sweet Potato until tender and when cooked add to a bowl season with Salt and Pepper then mash until smooth and the stir in Red Cheddar until combined and Cheddar has melted. Spoon mash over Beef mixture. Either freeze or use right away.
6. Cook in the oven at 175c (Fan) for 25 minutes, or until gravy starts to bubble. Then grill for remaining 5 until top is slightly crispy.