Once again Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House & Cookery School in Wicklow, crossed the Atlantic to join the all-female anchors, Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, of NBC’s Today on the eve of St Patrick’s Day, Friday 16th March, to show how to bring a flavour of Ireland to America and beyond.
Catherine prepared a Wicklow Beef casserole packed full of flavours from Ballyknocken served with Irish Champ; this promises to be a delicious meal to prepared ahead and enjoyed at the end of the day’s festivities on the day that everyone wants to be Irish!
Here we share a variation of the recipe that which was the winner in a live TV cook-off on the NBC Today Show in 2015. The potato pastry was what helped clinch the prize!
Recipe taken from her latest cookbook “A Taste of Home”.
Beef and Stout Pies with Potato Pastry Topping
Makes about 6, depending on the size
FOR THE FILLING
- rapeseed oil, for sautéing
- 100g smoked bacon, sliced into lardons
- 1kg round steak stewing beef, diced
- plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 500ml stout
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 400g tinned diced tomatoes
- 1½ tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tsp sugar
- ¾ tsp English mustard powder
- bouquet garni (4 to 5 parsley sprigs, 1 fresh thyme sprig and 1 bay leaf, tied together)
- salt and freshly
- ground black pepper
FOR THE PASTRY
- 170g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- 115g chilled butter, diced
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 150g steamed potatoes, pressed through a ricer
- cold water (about 3 tbsp), to bind egg wash
- 200g chestnut (or any of your favourite)
- mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 tbsp butter
- Heat some oil in a casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until crispy. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
- Toss the diced beef in the seasoned flour and dust off the excess. Add a little more oil to the casserole dish and fry the beef in batches until browned on all sides. Place the seared beef pieces on the clean plate with the bacon and set aside.
- Add a little more oil to the casserole dish and gently sauté the onion until just softened but not browned. Deglaze the pan with some stout.
- Return the beef, bacon and their juices to the casserole dish and stir in the red pepper, tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar, mustard and bouquet garni and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the rest of the stout. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and then simmer over a low heat for about 1½ hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce thick, stirring from time to time.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the diced butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the baking powder and mix well. Stir in the potatoes and pour in just enough cold water to form a soft dough. Turn it out on a floured surface and knead very lightly. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. (The pastry can also be made several hours in advance and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.)
- During the last 10 minutes of the filling’s cooking time, heat a medium frying pan with a little butter, add the mushrooms with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté for about 4 to 5 minutes. Then add to the casserole and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if required. When you are ready to make the pies, remove the bouquet garni from the beef.
- Choose 6 ramekins (or more, depending on their size). Preheat the oven to 210°C/fan 190°C/gas 7.
- Carefully roll out the pastry on a floured surface – it shouldn’t be too thin. Using a large cutter, cut out 6 or more discs 2cm larger than the ramekins. Spoon the beef into the bowls, brush the edges with egg wash and place the pastry discs on top. Crimp the edges. Re-roll the pastry trimmings and use to cut out leaves. Attach these to the top of the pies with egg wash. Make a small hole in the top of each disc for the steam to escape. Leave in the fridge to rest for about 20 minutes.
- Then brush the pastry with egg wash and transfer the ramekins to the oven for about 18 to 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and baked.
- Rest for about 5 minutes before serving with a fresh garden salad.
And for dessert, this is a delicious and easy dessert for St Patrick’s Day. It doesn’t have green colouring but it is perfect for the weekend that is in it with a great flavours of Ireland to enjoy. It has a biscuit base but it is baked and truly scrumptious.
Irish Coffee Cheesecake
Makes 1 x 23cm
FOR THE BASE
- 300g digestive biscuits
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 150g butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
- 300g soft cream cheese
- 100g crème fraiche
- 50g soft dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 shot espresso (30ml)
- 2 tbsp whiskey
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. To make the base, brush a 23cm loose base tart tin with melted butter.
- Place the biscuits in a food processor and crush until fine crumbs form.
- Transfer the biscuit crumbs to a bowl, add the ginger then pour over the melted butter and mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated.
- Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base and up the sides. Set in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- To make the filling, mix the cream cheese, crème fraiche, dark brown sugar, eggs, espresso and whiskey together in a large jug.
- Pour the mixture into the biscuit base and smooth evenly. Place in the oven to bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until just set.
- Carefully remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin before removing from the tin. Serve with a good coffee.
- Tip: Still staying Irish – change the whiskey to 4 tbsp of Irish cream for a really delicious pie.