Monticello Beefsteak Pie
Why I Love This Recipe
Dining at Monticello was a extraordinary experience in the early 1800s. Half American and half French, the menu was extensive with at least five meat dishes and and array of vegetable specialties that came from Jefferson's thousand foot long garden and nearby fruitery. I am working on my Cook Book and discovering some sensational dishes that I will bring to you as a small preview of what is coming. This soul satisfying savory pie is such a winner. It's a perfect one dish meal for a winter family dinner, using inexpensive cuts of beef, as well as a fine centerpiece for a party buffet when done with fillet mignon.
Ingredients You'll Need
2 Lbs. Beef, (tender cut like Fillet Minion or Beef Tenderloin.)
Salt & pepper
2 T. all purpose flour
1-2 slices smoked bacon cut into little squares
2 T. olive oil
3 T. butter
1 large yellow onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
3 carrots cut into 1/8 inch coins
2 ribs celery chopped large
2 T. parsley chopped fine
1 tsp. fresh herbs chopped fine (chervil & thyme)
Dash of ground cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cup good red wine
1 T. Sherry wine or Madeira
1/2 tsp. brown sugar or molasses
1 T. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. Worchester Sauce
1/4 tsp. Tabasco or red pepper flakes
2 cups beef broth
2 large russet potatos pealed and cut into 1” cubes.
1/2 cup of peas (frozen)
Dough for double crust pie.
In a large skillet, iron is best, sauté the bacon and add the olive oil over medium heat.
Pat beef dry and cut into 1” cubes, season with salt and pepper and then dredge lightly in the flour. Raise the heat to medium high and sauté the meat swiftly in the skillet in batches until nicely browned (do not over cook).
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Next add the butter to the pan then the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Next add the garlic, parsley, herbs, cloves, bay leaf and sauté another 3 minutes.
Next deglaze the pan by adding the wines, sugar, Worchester, Tabasco and beef broth. Stirring well, get all the little brown bits from the pan with a wooden spoon.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add the potatoes and the tomato paste to the skillet and simmer this for 20-25 minutes or until tender and the sauce is rich and thick.
Put all into a large skillet or casserole. Add the beef and sprinkle on the peas. Add the crust and cut some vents in a decorative pattern. Presentation is important so decorate with some cut out stars or make small balls with the remaining dough and scatter as we did here. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Note: this recipe can be made the long way by using a less expensive cut of beef and stewing it covered along with all the ingredients listed adding half the carrots and celery and all of the potatoes for the last hour. Bake for 2 – 3 hrs. so that it is tender. Add the peas and make the pie as directed.