Beef and Macaroni pie recipe from Rick Stein at Home


Featured in Rick’s new book, At Home, his recipe for Beef and Macaroni pie is the perfect dish to put in the middle of the table for everyone to dive in. Comforting and smile-inducing food that pairs well with a glass of decent red. Cook at home for your friends and family.

12.11.2021

Rick says: ‘I have a great affection for the Mediterranean baked dishes of meat, pasta, tomato and kefalotyri – a dry, firm, ewe’s milk cheese, full of irregular holes. It ranges in colour from white through to pale yellow, depending on the grazing of the sheep, and is fresh and slightly sharp-tasting, with a distinct flavour of ewe’s milk.

Serves 8 – 10

Ingredients

500g tubular pasta, such as rigatoni, penne or tortiglioni
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50g Greek kefalotiri cheese or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp melted butter
10g fresh white breadcrumbs

White sauce

115g butter
115g plain flour
1.2 litres whole milk, plus a little extra
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Meat sauce

4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1kg lean beef mince
200ml red wine
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
10cm cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp dried oregano, Greek if possible
2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
3 fresh bay leaves
Salt and black pepper

Method

For the meat sauce, heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, garlic and celery and fry until just beginning to brown. Add the mince and fry over a high heat for 3–4 minutes, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon as the meat browns.

Add the red wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon stick, ground cloves, dried and fresh oregano, bay leaves, 100ml of water, 11/2 teaspoons of salt and some black pepper. Simmer for 30–40 minutes, stirring now and then, until the sauce has thickened but is still nicely moist. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaves, then set the sauce aside.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Take care not to overcook, as it will cook a little more in the oven. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool slightly.

For the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook, while stirring, over a medium heat, for 1 minute. Gradually beat in the milk, then bring to the boil, still stirring. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C. Stir 250ml (about one-fifth) of the white sauce into the warm pasta together with the beaten eggs and half the grated cheese. Keep the remaining sauce warm over a low heat, stirring now and then and adding more milk if it begins to get a little thick.

Use the melted butter to grease a large, shallow ovenproof dish measuring about 23 x 33cm across and 7cm deep. Spread one-third of the pasta mixture over the base of the dish and cover with half the meat sauce. Add another third of the pasta and then the rest of the meat sauce, then cover with a final layer of pasta. Spoon over the remaining white sauce.

Mix the remaining grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle them over the top. Bake for 30–40 minutes until bubbling hot and golden brown on top.

Recipe from Rick Stein at Home by Rick Stein (BBC Books). Photo by James Murphy.

NEW BOOK: Rick Stein at Home

Celebrating recipes from his home kitchen, a signed copy of Rick’s latest cookery book is a must-have for your coffee table or book shelf. It includes 100 very special recipes, many from his recent Cornwall series.Order a signed copy

Chef Chris Jones 👨🏼‍🍳

Nigellas Ultimate Christmas Pudding


Ultimate Christmas Pudding

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/ultimate-christmas-pudding

Ultimate Christmas Pudding

I don’t deny it: there is something unattractively boastful about calling one’s own recipe “ultimate”. But having soaked my dried fruit for this pudding in Pedro Ximénez – the sweet, dark, sticky sherry that has a hint of liquorice, fig and treacle about it – I know there is no turning back. It’s not even as if it’s an extravagance: the rum or brandy I’ve used up till now are more expensive and do the trick less well. This is sensational – it is the Queen of Christmas puddings. It has to be tried, and clamours to be savoured. I know that many of you, tradition be damned, are resistant to Christmas pudding, and I do understand why. But you must try this. For until you do, you probably think all that dried fruit is, well, dry, and the pudding heavy. Yet this is far from the case: the fruit is moist and sticky, and the pudding mystifyingly, meltingly light. For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Photo by Lis Parsons

You will need a 1.7 litre/3 pint/1½ quart heatproof plastic pudding basin with a lid, and also a sprig of holly to decorate.

  1. Put the currants, sultanas and scissored prunes into a bowl with the Pedro Ximénez, swill the bowl a bit, then cover with clingfilm and leave to steep overnight or for up to 1 week.
  2. When the fruits have had their steeping time, put a large pan of water on to boil, or heat some water in a conventional steamer, and butter your heatproof plastic pudding basin (or basins), remembering to grease the lid, too.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the remaining pudding ingredients (except the vodka), either in the traditional manner or just any old how; your chosen method of stirring, and who does it, probably won’t affect the outcome of your wishes or your Christmas.
  4. Add the steeped fruits, scraping in every last drop of liquor with a rubber spatula, and mix to combine thoroughly, then fold in cola-cleaned coins or heirloom charms. If you are at all frightened about choking-induced fatalities at the table, do leave out the hardware.
  5. Scrape and press the mixture into the prepared pudding basin, squish it down and put on the lid. Then wrap with a layer of foil (probably not necessary, but I do it as I once had a lid-popping and water-entering experience when steaming a pudding) so that the basin is watertight, then either put the basin in the pan of boiling water (to come halfway up the basin) or in the top of a lidded steamer (this size of basin happens to fit perfectly in the top of my all-purpose pot) and steam for 5 hours, checking every now and again that the water hasn’t bubbled away.
  6. When it’s had its 5 hours, remove gingerly (you don’t want to burn yourself) and, when manageable, unwrap the foil, and put the pudding in its basin somewhere out of the way in the kitchen or, if you’re lucky enough, a larder, until Christmas Day.
  7. On the big day, rewrap the pudding (still in its basin) in foil and steam again, this time for 3 hours. Eight hours combined cooking time might seem a faff, but it’s not as if you need to do anything to it in that time.
  8. To serve, remove from the pan or steamer, take off the lid, put a plate on top, turn it upside down and give the plastic basin a little squeeze to help unmould the pudding. Then remove the basin – and voilà, the Massively Matriarchal Mono Mammary is revealed. (Did I forget to mention the Freudian lure of the pudding beyond its pagan and Christian heritage?)
  9. Put the sprig of holly on top of the dark, mutely gleaming pudding, then heat the vodka in a small pan (I use my diddy copper butter-melting pan) and the minute it’s hot, but before it boils – you don’t want the alcohol to burn off before you attempt to flambé it – turn off the heat, strike a match, stand back and light the pan of vodka, then pour the flaming vodka over the pudding and take it as fast as you safely can to your guests. If it feels less dangerous to you (I am a liability and you might well be wiser not to follow my devil-may-care instructions), pour the hot vodka over the pudding and then light the pudding. In either case, don’t worry if the holly catches alight; I have never known it to be anything but singed.
  10. Serve with the Eggnog Cream, which you can easily make – it’s the work of undemanding moments – while the pudding’s steaming.

Although I stipulate a capacious 1.7 litre/3 pint/1½ quart basin, and cannot extol the utter gloriousness of this pud too much, I know that you’re unlikely to get through most of it, even half of it, at one sitting. But I like the grand, pride instilling size of this, plus it’s wonderful on following days, microwaved in portionsafter or between meals, with leftover Eggnog Cream, or fried in butter and eaten with vanilla ice cream for completely off-the-chart, midnight-munchy feasts. But it wouldn’t be out of the question – and it would certainly be in the spirit of the season – to make up the entire quantity of mixture, and share between smaller basins – a 2 pint/1 quart one for you, a 1 pint/½ quart one to give away. Three hours’ steaming both first and second time around should do it; just keep the one pudding for yourself, and give the other to a friend, after it’s had its first steaming, and is cool, with the steaming instructions for Christmas Day.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Make the Christmas pudding up to 6 weeks ahead. Keep in a cool, dark place, then proceed as recipe on Christmas Day.

FREEZE AHEAD TIP: Make and freeze the Christmas pudding for up to 1 year ahead. Thaw overnight at room temperature and proceed as recipe on Christmas Day.

Chef Chris Jones