Home Cooking, the gift of nature.

Spanish winter recipes...Mmmm cazuela pies. This February has seen the second significant covering of snow over Orce village and outlying hamlets. When it comes it comes!,even in an old Andalucian cave house with 2 meter thick walls it gets cold so a good winter warming recipe is called for.

Cazuela pies will certainly keep you warm, (and your lap if you decide to enjoy in front of the tv) in fact the insulation properties of the terracotta cazuela will keep these pies hot for hours. A great way of serving up piping hot winter pies, for this simple recipe we have used beef. Enjoy.

 

Ingredients:
1 kilo stewing beef, cubed
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
250g mushrooms, wiped and chopped
half bottle red wine
2 beef stock cubes
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
300g shortcrust or puff pastry

How to cook:

1. In a large casserole dish, heat a little olive oil and butter and when it is really hot and smoking, add the beef and brown on all sides. This may need to be done in batches.
2. When all the beef is nicely browned, add the stock cubes and cook until they dissolve in the juices.
3. Add the vegetables and the wine bring to the boil.
4. Add the bay leaves and season. Reduce to a very low heat and cook covered for 3-4 hours, removing the lid for the last hour or so.
5. When the beef is done, preheat the oven to 230 degrees.
6. Spoon the beef mixture into 4-5 14cm cazuelas. Divide the pastry into 4-5 even sized pieces and roll out into rounds.
7. Dampen the edges of the cazuelas and top with the pastry. Press down to seal and flute the edges. glaze with egg wash and make a hole in the middle for the steam to escape.
8. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is a golden brown.
9. Serve with thick cut chips for a hearty and warming winters meal.

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Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans, and scientists believe the advent of cooking played an important role in human evolution. Most anthropologists believe that cooking fires first developed around 250,000 years ago.

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