I felt up for a challenge so I thought of trying my hand at making gluten free puff pastry. I’ve seen UK chef, James Martin, make it on TV and it does take a bit of elbow grease but technically it is not too demanding. If you are a bit impatient like me, then perhaps buying commercially available pastry may be the go but in Sydney it can set you back $9! Nevertheless I did give it a shot and it took ages but the results were still impressive despite lacking the puffiness between the layers of pastry. I followed the recipe at artofglutenfreebaking.com which is extremely detailed so I won’t be re-posting it here. However, I substituted the flour for a GF Aldi flour mix supplemented with Orgran’s Gluten Substitute. Perhaps the Australian summers are too warm but I felt that the butter kept melting too fast and half the time I was chilling it and adding tons of tapioca starch to keep it from sticking to my table. Also the lack of gluten makes it difficult to roll the pastry out without splitting it so keep an eye out on that too!
The pastry still made a good pot pie with a crunchy, crumbly top that still resembled the flaky layers of puff pastry but just didn’t rise enough. I popped the rest of the unused pastry in the freezer for another time. So what follows is my recipe for a beef pot pie.
Beef pot pie
Gluten free, egg free, soy free, nut free, failsafe
- 300g (ish) good quality beef, diced (I used cut up eye fillet)
- 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped (moderate salicylates)
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1/4-1/2 leek, halved and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 heaped teaspoons cornflour
- Some water
- In a pan fry the beef on high heat with a little oil to seal all the sides but don’t worry about cooking it all the way through. This is to keep the juices in as you will still need to bake it later. If you can tolerate it, brown it on all sides otherwise do as little browning as possible while attempting to seal in the juices. Once done place on a plate and set aside.
- On medium heat, fry off the garlic and leek till the leek goes translucent and everything becomes aromatic. Then add in the carrots and celery and sautee till carrots are tender.
- Once tender turn the heat to low and add the beef and any juices that leaked out on the plate back in with the vegetables. Add the cornflour and mix well, try to ensure there are no big clumps of cornflour.
- Add a splash of water and allow it to thicken to form a gravy. You may need to adjust thickness to your liking by adding more cornflour to thicken or more water to thin it. Season well with salt.
- Transfer everything into an ovenproof dish and then roll out your pastry and cover the top of the dish and trim off the excess pastry. Feel free to do nice pastry decorations here too! Brush some melted butter on top of the pastry to help golden it. Poke some steam holes in the top and bake at 180ºC till the pastry is golden and is crispy (about 30-45 minutes for my oven because it is a terrible oven).
- Serve with some steam green beans and roasted potatoes.
- Find the best quality beef and a cut that is normally very tender as you are cooking it for a while. Ask your butcher as they will know which would be the best. It isn’t always the most expensive cut!
- You can always substitute in other vegetables and meat to your taste preference! Take out the carrots if you can’t tolerate salicylates and try swedes instead.
- Wrap unused pastry (not rolled out yet) in cling film and store it in the freezer till you want to use it next.
- I used butter but I think it could also be done with Nuttelex if you need to be dairy free.