Veal Breast and Swiss Chard Pie

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Illustrated on previous pages

Veal breast is a huge favourite with us and benefits enormously from slow cooking, braising or being used in a pie filling as here. I particularly favour dishes like this are they are so conducive to a convivial gathering around the dining table.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Sprig of rosemary
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 600 g cooked veal breast, diced, and its juices (see the recipe for Slow-cooked shin of veal)
  • 4 medium stalks of Swiss chard, cut into pieces and blanched
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Pastry

  • 200 g flour
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • A little chilled water
  • 120 g butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

About 5 hours ahead, in a large heatproof pie dish or deep pan, sweat the onion, carrots, garlic and rosemary in the butter and olive oil. Add the veal and its juices with the chard. Season to taste, let cool and then refrigerate.

To make the pastry, place the flour and salt in a chilled stainless-steel bowl, add the butter and mash with a fork, working quickly so the butter doesn’t melt. Bring the mixture into the middle of the bowl and make a well (all with the fork – hands are too hot). Add the chilled water to the well little by little to create a manageable paste (not too wet or dry). Quickly create a ball with your fingertips, then refrigerate for 2 hours.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of just under about 1cm. Place on top of veal mix, press to seal at the edges and let rest for another hour in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, make a hole in the centre to allow steam to vent and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes to set the pastry. Lower the oven setting to 160°C/gas 3 and continue to cook until nicely golden, about 15–20 minutes.

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