Creamed Beef with Whole Wheat Pastry Crisps

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

Not a light meal, by any means, but so satisfying and comforting. Lots of sliced onions simmer to golden tenderness underneath browned slabs of chuck, which is then easily shredded and stirred together with the onions and a cream sauce made from the cooking liquid. If you don’t have time to make the pastry crisps, you could bake some squares of thawed frozen puff pastry to serve under or over the creamed beef, or just toast some good bread.

Ingredients

  • cups (14 ounces/400 g) sliced onions (4 small or 2 large)
  • 2 pounds (910 g) well-trimmed chuck steaks or roast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup (120 ml) beef stock or water
  • 2 cups (250 g) plus 1 tablespoon white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons (100 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Ice water
  • cup (165 ml) heavy cream

Method

Morning

Put the onions in the slow cooker.

Season the beef all over with salt (about teaspoons) and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. When it shimmers, add the beef and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to the cooker, setting the beef on top of the onions. Pour the stock into the hot skillet and scrape up any browned bits, then scrape the liquid into the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Morning or Evening

In a medium bowl, combine the 2 cups (250 g) flour and a pinch of salt, then cut in 6 tablespoons (85 g) of the butter with a pastry blender (or two knives held together) until the butter is in pieces no larger than ragged peas. Add half of the beaten egg and toss with a spatula to distribute it throughout the flour mixture. Sprinkle in ice water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, tossing and stirring to combine, until the dough holds together and can be shaped into a ball. If doing this in the morning, wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Evening

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and roll it out between two sheets of plastic to about ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick. Cut the dough into rough squares, strips, triangles, or whatever shapes you’d like and transfer to the baking sheet. Brush with the remaining beaten egg and bake until crisp and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, holding the lid of the cooker slightly askew and using pot holders, drain as much liquid as possible from the cooker into a saucepan. Return the pot to the cooker and keep covered.

To the liquid in the saucepan, add the cream and bring to a boil over high heat. Mash the flour into the butter with a fork, then whisk the mixture bit by bit into the cream mixture and cook until the liquid thickens slightly. Pour it back into the cooker and use two forks to shred the beef and combine it with the onions and cream sauce. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and serve with the pastry crisps.