Cut the beef chuck off the bone and into mouth sized chunks, keeping the bones.
Cut and clean out the centre vein from the kidneys - set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan brown the meat in some olive oil and a knob of butter and brown the onions with the garlic and remove from the pan - brown the meat in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. If you overcrowd the pan the meat will release all its juices and will land up stewing instead of browning which totally defeats the purpose.
Add the kidney to the pot and brown lightly
Add 2 cups of red wine and cook until all of the alcohol has cooked out and has lifted all that wonderful flavour in the caramelisation/ browning on the base of the pot.
Add the herbs, mushrooms, the chuck bones (which you will remove later), plenty of freshly cracked black pepper and beef stock.
Season with salt and bring the pot to the boil.
Boil for 20 minutes and then reduce to a slow simmer for 2 - 2 1/2 hours by which time the meat will nice and tenderand the sauce will have thickened.
Cut a collar of your ready made puff pastry and cover the lip of the pie dish -this will prevent the pastry from shrinking back when you bake it.
Fill your pie dishes with filling and top each pie with a tablespoon of a mixture of chopped fresh parsley and rosemary.
Put the pastry lid on and make sure that you cut a hole in the centre of the pie to allow steam to escape from.
Crimp the edge of the pastry with the back of a knife to ensure that the pastry edges are joined.
I always make a little pastry snake to decorate the top.
Bake for 20 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 200 C.
Reprinted with permission of Janice Tripepi.
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