(took a bite out of one of them before snapping the photo explaining the 'broken' one at the top)
- puff pastry; i got ready rolled and my pack was 375 g
- garlic; finely chopped
- beef; 2 steaks, diced
- onion; 2, quartered
- button mushrooms; handful, quartered
- stock; 1 pint
- red wine; 1 pint
- egg; beaten
- corn starch
- bay leaves; handful
- salt and pepper
- 2 round cutters, one roughly 2 cm smaller in diameter than the other, i.e there should be a 1 cm edge of space around the small cutter, when placed into the center of the big one.
1. Heat oil in a hot pan, add garlic, fry for a bit. Add onions, fry for a bit. Add diced beef and fry till beef is sealed
2. season with thyme, salt and pepper
3. pour in stock and red wine, once it starts boiling turn down heat. Season with more thyme, basil and place bay leaves into the liquid whole. Simmer for 1 hour uncovered to let the liquid reduce.
4. Preheat oven to 200oC.
5. Add button mushrooms to pan, simmer for another half hour.
5. While mushroom cooking, prepare pastry/vol au vents: roll out pastry onto dry clean surface to roughly a bit more than half a centimeter thick. cut the sheet into half.
6. cut out 2 holes with the the small cutter in one sheet, ensuring sufficient space around each hole. if you're using a cup as cutter like me, run a sharp knife around the edge to cut the pastry. (note, we're primarly using the pastry on the outside of the cutter)
7. Brush the other uncut half with water
8. Lift the half with the cut holes and place it onto the uncut half.
9. Position the bigger cutter onto the stacked pastries on top of each of the small holes, making sure the small hole is in the middle of the cutter. run knife around the edge of big cutter. this is to create vol au vents. (here we're using the pastry inside the cutter)
10. Roll back out unused pastry and repeat if needed, i made four vents.
11. Save the pastry cut out from making the holes to make lids for the vol au vents - try to keep its circular shape as you lift them onto the baking tray.
(if you're still confused, it should all look like this: http://www.toomanychefs.com/images/rawrings.jpg)
12. place pastry onto a non stick oven dish, then brush the pastry all over with beaten egg, place in oven for 15 - 20 mins or until golden brown
13. when pastry is almost ready go back to the beef stew: take out the bay leaves, discard.
14. add a teaspoon or two of corn starch (the thicker you want the sauce to be the more cornstarch you add) to the beef stew and turn up the heat. sauce should thicken in a minute when it starts to bubble .
15. take pastries out, you will notice it is puffed up in the middle. simply laddle the beef mixture into the middle and it will fall. The sides will stay up and support the vol au vents' structure. serve with the puffed lids.