Paul was salivating over the recent Williams Sonoma catalog, mainly over the incredibly expensive cuts of meat, like the $175 five pound prime rib. Kind of reminded of mooning over the Sears and J.C. Penney Christmas catalogs, filled with toys that I coveted as a child. I decided to give it a look-see, strictly for fun and got reeled in by the Short Rib Wellington Potpie recipe. Of course they featured the Le Creuset Dutch oven that was the perfect match. When Paul offered to get it for me for Christmas I went for it. You see, I couldn’t care less about diamonds, but start talking high quality cookware and I’m there. I’m such a cheap date! Just want to add, enamelled cast iron cookware is the best for braising and stewing, particularly in the oven. It can be Staub or Lodge as well; the heaviness promotes even heating. I highly recommended having at least a D utch oven.
The decision had been made by me to make a non-traditional (for us) Christmas dinner. All my life we have always had turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas. While I love the sight and smell of an oven roasted turkey, I really only like the skin, part of the wing, and the tail. The rest can go hang. So when I was working on a completely different menu, I decided to make this recipe as a SIDE DISH for Christmas dinner. Paul insisted I beta-test it before hand, which I did. It was rich and delicious. You don’t have to make it for Christmas dinner but it’s a great winter dish. Go do it!
Beef Wellington Pot Pie
2 ¼ lb. tri-tip roast, cut into 1” chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
¼ pound pancetta or prosciutto, ¼” thick and cut into ¼” dice
¾ lb. cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup red wine
1 ½ tbs Better Than Bouillon, or equivalent product
3 cups beef broth
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups frozen pearl onions
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 sheet puff pastry, rolled out 10”-11” square
1 egg plus 1 tsp. water, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Season beef with salt and pepper. In 3 ½ qt wide Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm oil. Brown beef on all sides, in batches, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer to bowl. Reduce heat to medium. Add pancetta, cook until crisp, 6-8 minutes. Add to bowl with beef. Increase heat to medium-high; cook mushrooms until tender, about 8 minutes. Add to bowl with beef.
Pour off excess fat in pot. Return pot to medium heat; melt butter. Stir in flour, cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes. Whisk in wine and Better Than Bouillon, cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in stock; bring to a simmer. Add thyme, bay leaf, pearl onions, beef, pancetta and mushrooms. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cover pot, bake until beef is fork-tender, 2-2 ½ hours. Discard bay leaf, spoon off excess fat. Stir in parsley.
Increase oven temp to 400. Place puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Using sharp knife, score pastry with diagonal lines 2” apart, forming a diamond pattern. Brush edge of pot with water, and place pastry over pot. Press edges to seal. Trim overhanging pastry to 1”, brush with egg wash. Transfer to oven; bake until puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Serves 6-8.
The original recipe called for prosciutto but being partial to pancetta, I used that. This morning while doing my final Christmas dinner shopping I was going to get prosciutto, but there was a tub of already diced pancetta on the shelf, in just the right amount! You know what I did. Re the photo, I snagged it from the catalog, as I forgot to photograph my beta-version. I trust you will let me slide.