Raising more dough, 76pp.
by various contributors
LJ Hooker, Australia, 2007
Cooking on pages 32–33
Even though this cookbook was produced in Australia, I bought it a few years ago at a charity shop in New Zealand.
It’s the second fundraiser LJ Hooker, a real estate company, has produced in support of Cystic Fibrosis Australia, with the first, Raising dough, coming out in 2002.
I had to buy the book just for the recipe on pages 32–33. It was contributed by Mike Hussey, who is more often referred to as Mr Cricket. Hussey is one of Australia’s most valued and popular cricket players.
You may know from other page-32 recipes, such as one for double-rich chocolate chip cookies, that I’m married to a cricket tragic and mother to another.
So let’s see whether Mr Cricket is equally talented in the kitchen.
Mike’s beef and red wine pies
1kg of sirloin or fillet steaks (cut into small chunks)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 1/2 cups beef stock
a few sprigs of thyme
sea salt and black pepper
12 small potatoes chopped up
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarhch)
3 tablespoons water
4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg lightly beaten
Cook half the meat in half the oil in large saucepan over high heat for 4–5 minutes. Remove from pan. Add remaining oil and meat, brown and remove from pan.
Return all meat back in the pan with wine, stock, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove lid, simmer for 15 minutes then add potatoes and cook until tender.
Mix cornflour and water into a smooth paste, add to the meat and boil until it bubbles and thickens. Cool slightly.
Place mixture in 4 x 2-cup oven-proof dishes. Place cut out pastry on top of dishes. Brush with egg and make a small slit in the top.
Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C for approximately 20 minutes or until golden.
Enjoy with steamed vegetables and a glass of wine. Serves 4.
How it played out
I made this exactly as written. So much so that a few months ago, I bought four 2-cup ceramic dishes just so I could make this recipe.
By the way, in keeping with the view that you need to cook with a wine that you’d drink, I used a lovely red wine from the Margaret River area in Western Australia. I’m a member of Naked Wines, a company that supports new wine makers in Australia. Check them out if you are in Australia.
Obviously Mike can cook as well as play cricket. He’s offered up an easy-to-make and delicious recipe.
My only change would be to increase the sauce ingredients by about half. I’m used to pies with a decent amount of gravy and this one was a little dry for my tastes. I also added the instruction to bake the pies in a pre-heated oven. That was missing from the original.
The other thing I need to do is make a donation to Cystic Fibrosis Australia. I bought the cookbook for $1 so they missed out on my contribution.
We’ve been to New Zealand (where I bought this cookbook) three times, but I’ve not yet written about any of those visits. Luckily, I have written about some of my amazing Kiwi travelling companions, including Lu, who was our trip guide the first time we travelled across Central Asia.