Mediterranean Beef Pasta & Pot Pie
 
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds (approximately 1 kg) chuck steak, braising or stewing steak, cubed
  • 2 generous tablespoons of flour
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red peppers, de-seeded and cut in roughly one inch pieces
  • 2 medium eggplant, cubed
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups passata (sieved tomatoes) or tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree or paste
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, cut in half
  • 2 small zucchini (courgettes), cut in slices about half an inch thick
  • For the Pasta
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) of penne pasta (or other pasta shapes)
  • For the Pot Pie
  • 1 small day old baguette or half an Italian bread loaf cut in thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives or parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Using a large casserole or Dutch oven suitable for stove top and oven use, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil on the stove top over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl or on a plate.
  4. Coat the cubed beef in the flour mixture.
  5. Brown the meat in the oil, turning to make sure all sides of the cubes are browned. You may need to do this in batches. Add more oil if necessary. Remove the beef cubes as they are browned and keep warm.
  6. Add a bit more of the oil to the casserole or Dutch oven and sauté the onion until it begins to soften.
  7. Grate in the garlic cloves and add the red peppers and cubed eggplant.
  8. Sauté until the vegetables begin to pick up a bit of colour.
  9. Return the beef to the pan and stir in the beef stock, oregano, passata or tomato sauce and the tomato puree or paste.
  10. Put the lid on the casserole and place it in the oven for an hour.
  11. After an hour, remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the button mushrooms and the zucchini.
  12. Put the lid back on and return the casserole to the oven for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring every half hour.
  13. When the beef is fork tender and the vegetables are cooked through, the stew is done.
  14. On the first day, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and mix with half the stew. Serve in warmed bowls with hot rolls and salad if desired.
  15. Cool any leftover stew and refrigerate promptly.
  16. For the Pot Pie, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)
  17. Transfer the remaining stew to a large open casserole dish and heat in the oven until hot and bubbly, stirring occasionally.
  18. Meanwhile, grate the garlic clove into the melted butter and stir in the dried chives or parsley, salt and pepper.
  19. When the stew is hot, remove it from the oven and arrange the bread slices on top of the stew.
  20. Brush the bread with the garlic butter.
  21. Return the casserole to the oven and cook until the garlic bread is golden brown.
  22. Serve with a green vegetable and potatoes if desired.
Recipe by April J Harris at https://apriljharris.com/cook-once-eat-twice-mediterranean-beef/