W-S Short Rib Wellington Potpie

When Dan first came to me wanting to make a recipe from a Williams-Sonoma catalog, I thought he was crazy. Shows you how much I know! Turns out, Williams-Sonoma has a GAZILLION (that’s an exact amount) recipes on their website (not to mention cooking classes and a plethora of food products) and if they’re all as good as this one, well, then  we have a lot of recipe testing to do.  Anyway, the recipe was written to promote some W-S products, none of which we bought.  And it still turned out deliciously.

Short Rib Wellington Potpie is as rich as it sounds.  It’s an impressive dish that’s surprisingly easy to make.  All of the work gets done on the front end and then the many cooking hours free you up to do whatever your heart desires (if you’re Kate, I believe that means watching reruns of The Real Housewives of Atlanta).  It could also give you time to partake in cocktail hour with guests, play with your dog (if you have one, I’m officially jealous), or surf the web. No matter how you choose to spend your “free time,” the initial effort that goes into this recipe is well worth it.

Short Rib Wellington Potpie – loosely adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 lb. bone-in beef short ribs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 lb. prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch squares
  • 1 lb. baby Portobello mushrooms, quartered
  • 8 tbs. (1 stick) butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups pearl onions
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. orange zest (if desired)
  • 1 sheet puff-pastry, 10 to 11 inches square
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. of water

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 325°F.

Season the beef with salt and pepper on all sides. In a 3 1/2-quart (or larger) Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Brown the beef on all sides, working in batches if you can’t fit it all into the pot at once.  This takes about 8 to 10 minutes per batch. When you remove the short ribs from the Dutch oven, the meat should fall off the bones quite easily.  If it does, cut it into 1″ pieces at this time.  If it is still sticking to the bones, don’t force it to come off.  Leave it on the bones until later noted. Transfer meat and bones to a bowl, put aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the prosciutto and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally, for about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the prosciutto to the bowl with the beef. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, for about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the bowl with the beef and the prosciutto.

W-S says to pour off the excess fat in the pot at this point – we didn’t really have any, and I also think this fat would be super flavorful, so perhaps you’d want to keep a bit of it. Return the pot to medium heat and melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two.  Be careful not to let the flour burn.  SLOWLY (this is key!!) whisk in the stock and bring it to a simmer. Add the thyme, bay leaf, pearl onions, carrots, beef, prosciutto and mushrooms. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven, and cook until the beef is fork-tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Spoon the excess fat off of the top of the cooking liquid.  Find the bay leaf and discard (this can be tricky, but it’s well worth it! You don’t want your special guest biting into that leaf!) Remove any stand alone bones at this point.  Also, if any meat is still on the bones, take it off and chop it into approximately 1 inch cubes. Stir in the parsley and orange zest (if using).

Increase the oven temperature to 400°F.

Place the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Use the tip of a knife to score the pastry with diagonal lines about 2 inches apart, making a diamond pattern (or be creative and make whatever pattern you’d like). Be careful not to go through the pastry with your scoring. If your filling reaches the top of the pot, brush the edge of the pot with water, then brush the pastry with the egg mixture. Place the pastry, egg wash side up, over the pot and press the edges to seal. If your pastry hangs over the edge of the pot, trim the edges to 1 inch. If not, don’t despair! Our filling didn’t come up to the rim of the pot, so our pastry sat down inside the pot on top of the filling and puffed just fine.  No need to brush the rim of the pot with water if this is the case (you do still need to egg wash, however).

Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the pastry is puffy and golden brown, or about 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with more fresh thyme if desired. Serves 6 to 8.  Enjoy!

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