This is comfort food at its very best. Meltingly tender beef, with delicious herbs, covered with a crispy golden crust. I recently got a tip from an amazing chef, Daniel Galmiche – to rub the herbs between your fingers before using them. This releases the aromas and flavours even more and gives you a moment of pure bliss as you anticipate the eating!
* gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free
- 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
- 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
- 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
- ½ tsp sea salt, crushed
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 125g/4½oz chilled dairy-free margarine, diced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500g/1lb 2 oz casserole steak, fat removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp rice flour
- 1 small celeriac, about 600g, trimmed, peeled and finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 350ml/12fl oz/scant 1½ cups gluten-free & dairy-free beef stock
- dairy-free margarine, for greasing
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan or wok over a medium heat and add the onion. Fry for about 3–4 minutes until starting to turn golden, then add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to one side. Roll the steak in the rice flour then add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5–6 minutes until lightly browned. Return the onion and garlic to the pan, add the celeriac, herbs and stock and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn the heat down to low and leave to simmer gently for 1 hour until the beef is tender.
- Meanwhile, to make the pastry, sift the flours, salt and xanthan gum into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the dairy-free margarine and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and blend for 20–30 seconds until the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough. There should be a little extra moisture at the base of the bowl. If it is too dry, gradually blend in 1–2 tablespoons chilled water. If too sticky, add a little rice flour.
- Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- When the beef is almost ready, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and grease a medium-sized casserole dish, about 1.5 litres size, with dairy-free margarine. Liberally dust a large chopping board with rice flour and roll out the pastry into a shape about 3mm/1/8in thick and 3cm/1¼in wider than the casserole dish. Be careful as the pastry will still be slightly sticky.
- Remove the bay leaf from the filling and transfer into the casserole dish. Ease the pastry onto the top of the casserole and cover the filling. If the dough seems too fragile to lift, simply turn the chopping board over to drop the pastry onto the casserole. Press the edges of the dough down gently around the edges and neaten the edges with a sharp knife. Cut a small cross in the centre to let the steam out.
- Bake for 35–40 minutes until the pastry is a rich, golden brown and serve hot.
Serves 4 Preparation time 25 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling the pastry Cooking time 45–50 minutes