Looking for a legendary loaf of luxury? The enormous expectations the Epic Beef Bake exceeds are beyond anything your beef-loving mind can imagine! A colossal concoction of tender chuck beef pieces, sizeable amounts of monumentally savory-seasoned mushrooms and triumphant sweet carrots, all swimming in a thick, finely-tuned sauce and enveloped by a tremendously flaky puff pastry crust that will literally dazzle you. This Epic Beef Bake will put the wow back into your dynamic dinner. It’s truly an undaunted discovery of epic deliciousness!

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 1/4 cups water, boiling
  • 2 pounds chuck beef, cut into bite-size pieces
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped, plus 3 carrots halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 10 ounces dark ale
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 3 sprigs thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 7 ounces bacon, diced
  • 10-13 ounces Swiss brown mushrooms, halved if large
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
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Directions

Step 1 –Line two large platters with paper towels.

Step 2 –In a large bowl, add the porcini mushrooms and the boiling water and soak for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3 –With a colander placed in a different large bowl, drain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid.

Step 4 –On a cutting board with a sharp knife, roughly chop the porcini mushrooms. Set them aside.

Step 5 –On a large platter, season the chuck beef pieces with the salt and the black pepper.

Step 6 –In a large, heavy stock pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil to heat.

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Step 7 –In two batches, add the chuck beef pieces and cook until lightly-brown on all sides and reading 135 degrees F when tested with a meat thermometer in one of the thickest pieces, about 5 minutes per side.

Step 8 –Transfer the cooked chuck beef pieces to one of the prepared large platters. Set it aside.

Step 9 –In the same large, heavy stock pot with the heat decreased to medium-low, add the remaining vegetable oil.

Step 10 –Add the onion and the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Step 11 –Add the finely chopped carrot and the celery and cook until softened, about 6 minutes.

Step 12 –Add the remaining 1/2-inch carrot pieces and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

Step 13 –Add the flour to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine.

Step 14 –Add the dark ale and the beef stock to the vegetable mixture and stir to dissolve the flour.

Step 15 –Raise the heat to medium.

Step 16 –Add the thyme, the bay leaves, the soaked porcini mushrooms, the reserved porcini mushroom soaking liquid (excluding the gritty bits) and the cooked chuck beef pieces to the vegetable mixture, stirring to combine.

Step 17 –Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and continue to gently simmer until the chuck beef pieces are tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Step 18 –In a large skillet over high heat, add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

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Step 19 –Transfer the cooked bacon from the skillet to the remaining prepared large platter, reserving the bacon drippings in the skillet.

Step 20 –Add the Swiss brown mushrooms to the bacon drippings and cook until golden all over, about 5 minutes.

Step 21 –Add the cooked bacon to the browned mushrooms, tossing to coat the mushrooms.

Step 22 –Add the mushroom mixture to the chuck beef mixture and stir to combine.

Step 23 –Simmer the stew, uncovered, until the mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes.

Step 24 –Transfer the stew from the stovetop to a wire rack to cool.

Step 25 –Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 26 –In the bottom of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan, evenly add the stew mixture.

Step 27 –In a small bowl, add the egg yolk and whisk until fluffy.

Step 28 –Add the puff pastry to the top of the stew mixture, folding in the ends of the puff pastry so it fits.

Step 29 –With a pastry brush, evenly cover the puff pastry with the beaten egg yolk.

Step 30 –With a sharp knife, cut a few slits into the puff pastry topping and bake until deep-golden and the filling is hot in the middle, about 30-35 minutes.

Step 31 –Transfer the beef bake from the oven to a wire rack and let cool for at least 5 minutes.

Step 32 –Serve.