In my last post, I shared a recipe for Stove-Top Pot Roast and a suggestion for how leftovers could be turned into the filling for individual meat pies. Here, I’m sharing a variation of the recipe to demonstrate its versatility, taking a weekday meal and turning it into a dish that’s elegant enough to serve to company. Simply make the pot-roast ahead of time, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or for up to 3 days while the flavours intensify, add sautéed mushrooms and a pastry topping and dinner is ready.

Make-Ahead Braised Beef and Mushrooms

Make-Ahead Braised Beef and Mushrooms

Make-Ahead Braised Beef and Mushrooms

You will need:

• Stove-Top Pot Roast (follow recipe below), large vegetables removed

• Butter

• All-purpose flour

• Olive oil

• Crimini mushrooms, 1lb, sliced

• Fresh thyme

• Frozen Puff pastry, thawed

• Egg, 1, lightly beaten

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

Skim any fat that has come to the surface of the pot roast and with your clean hands, remove any excess fat or gristle on the meat and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Return the meat to the pot, place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Meantime, make a paste by combining one ounce of butter with a heaped tablespoon of flour and gradually add it to the bubbling broth, stirring until it thickens slightly. Reduce the heat and let the meat and gravy simmer gently on the stove.

Heat a couple of glugs of oil in a large skillet, add the mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat. Add freshly ground black pepper and the leaves from 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme and continue to cook until the mushrooms start to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add a knob of butter and swirl the pan to coat the mushrooms. Carefully add the mushrooms to the meat and gravy in the pot and stir to combine.

Unroll the puff pastry onto a lightly floured board – each sheet will serve four. Don’t worry about rolling it out (if you’re like me and don’t bake you may not even own a rolling pin) but do trim the pastry with a sharp knife to make a “perfect” square. Using the same sharp knife, make diagonal cuts to create four pastry triangles from each sheet.

Lightly grease a baking sheet(s), place the pastry triangles on top and brush with the beaten egg. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Use the time the pastry is baking to cook vegetables, for example cauliflower and green beans.

Ladle the meat and mushroom mixture onto dinner plates, top with the pastry triangles, serve vegetables alongside and garnish with sprigs of thyme. A glass or two of the same red wine you used to cook the pot roast would be perfect alongside.