A Hearty Meal Fit for Fall
Now that we have harvested our first round of turnips, it’s time to create different ways to eat them. Most of the time, I cook them simply: boiled or roasted and then mashed with butter, salt and pepper. My kids aren’t super fond of turnips, so I do mix them with regular potatoes to sneak them in. Overall turnips make great potato substitutes in many dishes.
When I first considered using beef and turnips together in a dish, I initially thought of a Pasty; a meat and vegetable hand pie originating in Cornwall. I first had a pasty in Northern Wisconsin, back when I was in college. The Wisconsin version consisted of tender beef and rutabagas. This combo got me thinking that replacing the rutabagas with turnips would be great. I love using what I have or what’s in season to for all my recipes. Also, an added bonus was the turnip tops…we can use the entire plant! I still might develop a pasty in the future, but they are labor intensive and I wasn’t feeling up to it. I took the lazy way out and made a pie.
The crust of the pie is made with puff pastry. If you have never used puff pastry before, you must! This is a delicious and simple way to make a crust for your pies. It’s buttery and flaky and melts in your mouth. You can find puff pastry in the freezer section of your local grocery store, typically where the pre-made pie crusts are located. This stew does have beer in it. If you are not a fan of dark beef, you can substitute with beef broth. Although, I think the beer compliments the beef and the turnips very well! I cooked the stew in a slow cooker (one of my best friends). I included directions for making the stew on the stovetop and oven if do not own a slow cooker.
- Olive oil
- 1 Large white onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 medium turnips, chopped (save the tops to make Braised Greens)
- 2 lbs of beef or stewing beef, cut into cubes
- a few sprigs fresh rosemary and thyme, leaves picked and chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bottle of dark beer(like Guinness or stout)
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 sheet of ready-made all-butter puff pastry
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Preheat your oven to 375.
- In a large skillet, add the onions cook until translucent.
- Add the garlic, carrots and turnips. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add in the beef, rosemary and thyme, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of pepper.
- Stir together and cook on high heat for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Pour in the beer and stir in the flour (make sure there are no flour lumps).
- Bring to a boil, then add just enough water to cover.
- Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer.Cover the pan with a lid and place in the preheated oven for about 1½ hours.(You can also place the stew into a slow cooker at this point)
- Remove the pan from the oven and give the stew a stir.
- Put it back into the oven and continue to cook it for another hour, or until the meat is very tender.If the stew looks like it needs to thicken more, put the pot on the stove top and cook it for a few minutes until the liquid reduces.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Dust a clean work surface with some flour.
- Remove the puff pastry from its wrapping and lay it out on the floured surface.
- Roll the pastry out evenly with a floured rolling pin to about 1/8 in. Add more flour if needed (make sure the puff pastry is large enough to cover your casserole or pie dish).
- Pour the stew into your casserole dish and even it out.
- Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top of the stew.
- Place the pastry over the top of the pie dish.
- Slash across the top of the pastry a few times a sharp knife.
- Brush the top with beaten egg.
- Bake the pie for 45 minutes, until the pastry is cooked, puffed and golden.
- Serve the pie with a side of Braised Greens!
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