Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Spiced Beef B'stilla

Believed to have originated in Morocco, B'stilla is a popular dish throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean.  This meat pie dish first braises meat in delicious spices then bakes the meat in a phyllo dough crust.

This version of the dish uses beef braised with red onions, mushrooms, nutmeg, thyme and allspice in a beef broth.  The fork tender spiced beef is then placed into a phyllo dough pie and baked to a golden brown crust to serve.  A great and easy one meal dish that goes well with tabbouleh or a light cucumber and onion salad. Enjoy.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2.5 hours
Active Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Special Tools: Large Dutch Oven & 9-inch Springform Pan

2 lbs. chuck beef (trim off the fat and cut into 2 inch cubes)
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 tablespoons butter
1 large red onion diced
1 garlic clove minced
6 crimini mushrooms diced
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
4 cups beef broth
12 sheets phyllo dough

Season the beef with salt and pepper.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large skillet place the olive oil over high heat.  Add the beef to the pan and brown the meat on all sides (12 minutes). Transfer the meat to a large iron cast pot or dutch oven.

Add one tablespoon butter to the skillet with the beef drippings.  Toss in the onions, garlic and mushrooms into the pan and saut√© over medium heat until soft (5 minutes).  Add the allspice, nutmeg, thyme and chili flakes to the onions and stir the ingredients until well combined and fragrant (1 minute). Transfer the onions to the dutch oven with the beef.

Place the dutch oven over high heat. Add 4 cups beef broth, stir to combine and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and transfer into the oven to braise for 90 minutes or until the beef is fork tender. Transfer the cooked beef to a large bowl and use a fork to shred the meat. Use a strainer to separate the sauce from the onions and mushrooms.  Add the onions and mushrooms to the beef and set aside.  Reserve the sauce in the pot.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Brush the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with 1 phyllo sheet allowing the excess to hang over the sides.  Brush the the phyllo with butter.  Repeat layering with 6 more phyllo sheets brushing butter in between and rotating the sheets 90 degrees with each layer so they overlap in the pan.

Place the shredded beef, onion and mushroom mixture into the phyllo lined pan and spread into an even layer.  Fold the overhanging phyllo dough back over the beef and brush with more butter.  Repeat layering the remaining 5 phyllo sheets on top of the filling, brushing butter in between and rotating 90 degrees with each layer so they overlap. Tuck the edges of the phyllo into the sides of the pan and brush the top of the pie with butter.

Bake the b'stilla until golden brown (about 35 minutes). Transfer the b'stilla to a rack to cool for ten minutes.  Serve with warmed reserved sauce on the side and enjoy.

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