Spend the night in with someone special and share this comforting Short Rib and Stout Pie for Two.
Valentine’s Day is next week, the one day a year that your favorite restaurant suddenly decides it’s okay to gouge their prices just because of a date on the calendar. We stopped going out on Valentine’s Day a long time ago, when you’ve been coupled as long as we have the romance gets set aside for practicality. Which is not to say that you can’t have a romantic night at home, it’s completely doable and it’s our longstanding tradition for the last 10 years. Think about it, would you rather spend a night at home eating a delicious meal with your love or surrounding by 50 strangers eating a sub-par pre-fix meal?
I think you know the answer to that question.
Our special date nights at home though have started to get a little stale though, we’ve been having them for so long we’ve managed to fall into a date night meal rut. It’s pretty much goes like this – make a salad, have some seafood appetizer, buy an expensive steak and ice cream for dessert.
It’s delicious and always perfectly portioned for two people and I would make again and again but variety is the spice of life! The hard part is figuring out a special meal that’s perfectly portioned for two people and lucky for me I had a little help this time around from my friends at Le Creuset. They were kind enough to send me their 2 quart Heart Cocotte, perfectly portioned for a meal for two people. With a smaller cocotte it gave the perfect opportunity to scale down soups, stews and braises for two people.
My husband had been asking for awhile to make savory pies inspired by our trip to London last year and with the smaller cocotte on hand I had no excuse not to oblige!
Think of this short rib and stout pie as a hybrid of pot pie topped with a more traditional pastry shell found on a proper beef and ale pie. It’s loaded up with tender pies of boneless short ribs, carrots, onions, mushrooms and a flavorful gravy that you want to slurp up with a spoon.
This meal takes a little bit of dedication to prepare, it’s definitely not one to toss together on a weeknight. Between braising the short ribs for a few hours and preparing the pastry (which can always be made by ahead of time), this is a meal to make on a lazy weekend day. One that’s accompanied by an extra beer in hand and a movie on the television to keep going back to while the oven does its thing.
There’s a lot of steps but don’t be intimidated, the pastry is fairly simple and by the end you can say you’ve mastered the ruff puff. Plus the end result is completely worth it after you dig into your first steaming mouthful.
Le Creuset provided me a free 2 quart Cocotte for the purpose of recipe development. All opinions are my own.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
- 2 tablespoons avocado or vegetable oil
- 2lbs boneless short ribs (about 2 ribs total), cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup stout beer
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 egg + 2 teaspoons water for egg wash
- Sift the flour salt together in a bowl and grate the frozen butter into the flour. Gently toss together with your hands until the butter is completely coated with flour.
- Adding one tablespoon at a time mix in the water and stir with a fork until incorporated. Test the mixture by squeezing a small handful if it clumps together without falling apart then you are good to go.
- Bring the dough together into a square and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge, roll the dough out onto a floured surface into a rectangle no more than 1/4 inch thick and then fold the top and bottom like a letter. Rotate and repeat. Wrap back up in plastic wrap, refrigerator for another 30 minutes and repeat again the rolling and folding again. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Dough can be made ahead of time.
- Place the cubed short ribs in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat with the flour.
- Heat the 2 quart cocotte with 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat and brown the short ribs in 2 batches. Remove each batch and set aside until later use.
- Add the garlic and carrots to the cocotte and saute until soft and translucent about 6-8 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Mix in the tomato paste and add the beef and any collected juices into the cocotte, pour in the beer and stock making sure everything is covered season with salt and pepper and add the fresh thyme.
- Cover the cocotte and place in a 300 degree F heated oven to cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the short ribs are tender.
- Remove from the oven, remove the thyme stems and stir in the mushrooms. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Roll out the puff pastry, either so that it's large enough to over hand the cocotte or trim it so that it just fits inside and sits on top of the meat. Brush with the egg wash and place back in a 400 degree oven to finish cooking for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through.
- Remove and let sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving.