Category Archives: Beef

Irish Beef Hand Pies

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, we wanted to do something Irish. Everyone cooks corned beef and cabbage so we went with Irish Beef Hand Pies. Here are the results:

Chef Karen: I found the recipe very easy to make. I did, though, feel that it needed to be made a bit more interesting so instead of pie crust for the pastry I opted for a puff pastry bundle. I thawed my pastry as directed. I then took 1 sheet, cut it in half, spread olive oil on them and put two together. I put a spoonful of meat mixture in the centre and then proceeded to make a bundle. I folded the sides in, brought the bottom half across the top and then brought the top half over to cover it up. I then lifted it up to put it on the baking tray. It fell apart! So, I tried, again, with 3 sheets cut in half (making it 6 layers of pastry) to give it more strength. It worked but it was really hard to cut through. I brushed each one with olive oil on the top instead of on each sheet. I found this recipe to be a bit bland. But as my husband said, “It is meat and potatoes.” I wished I had had some gravy to go with it.

beef pie 1


beef pie 2


Chef Jonathan: I attempted to use the store bought pastry crust, as opposed my usual Pâté Brisee, and I was thoroughly disappointed. The dough was very uneven, and so to salvage the recipe, I decided to make Beef Pot Pies instead, filling ramekins with the beef mixture, and layering some pastry crust on top, brushed with egg wash. I very much enjoyed the beef/potato mixture, and the addition of green cabbage was a surprisingly nice addition. I did find though that I added too much tomato paste, and had to over season to compensate for that taste. All in all, a nice recipe for St. Patty’s Day, if you want to go classical Irish cuisine. Enjoy!



Here is the recipe:


Beef Bourguignon – Happy Birthday Julia Child!

Karen: We wanted to celebrate the great chef, Julia Child, by creating her Beef Bourguignon recipe. Her recipe is quite intense, as one might assume, so we found a shorter, easier version that any home chef could attempt with success. This was an easy recipe to follow. I was very excited to make the bouquet garni so I’ve added a picture of that! I had rave reviews of the smell while it was still cooking; even our dog sniffed the air when I took off the lid to stir the pot!

It turned out pretty good. The beef was really tender and the zest was good. Sometimes when I make beef stew it seems that the beef never tenderizes enough; this didn’t happen this time. I served this beef treat on top of egg noodles but you could use rice or potatoes, too. I’d make it, again. Thanks, Julia! Even though I used an easier recipe, you’re still my inspiration!

Chef Jonathan: I have always wanted to try this recipe, so when we found a recipe that was a little more approachable, we were thrilled! My favorite ingredients in this recipe are the beef and the wine, arguably the two most prominent as well. I decided to go with a Bordeaux from Gironde-Sur-Dropt, instead of the traditional Bourguignon, mainly for its fuller-bodied rich taste, I believe it goes perfectly with tender beef. It’s also very important to taste the wine ahead of time, to be sure that it doesn’t overpower the rest of the stew. For my bouquet garni, I used thyme and rosemary, but omitted the parsley, just my personal preference. I also loved the method of cooking the bacon and shallots together, it gives an amazing taste, and is very time efficient. Although, I shortened the simmering time on the stew from the original two hours, but I added about an additional 15 minutes for the cremini mushrooms to ensure doneness. All in all, an amazing dish from an amazing woman, and as Julia would say it, “Bon Appetit!”

Here is where you’ll find the recipe we used: