Slow Cooked Beef Empanada's

with Damson Plum Relish Dipping Sauce (makes 20-30, depending on size) 

This recipe takes a little while to prepare, but the taste is well worth the effort.

750g rump steak
100g streaky bacon
1 bulb of garlic
A good bunch of thyme
   (reserve 2tbsp chopped)
A pinch of ground mace
2 bay leaves
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper
250ml red wine
2tbsp Damson Relish
150ml beef stock
200g mushrooms

Puff pastry
1 egg

Extra Damson Plum Relish for Dipping

Preheat the oven to 220C. 

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add sliced streaky bacon. When cooked, remove from the frying pan and place into an ovenproof dish.  Cut the rump steak into 2cm cubes, and add them to the frying pan in small batches.  When browned, remove them from the frying pan and add to bacon.  Season the meat and tuck in the whole sprigs of thyme, torn bay leaves and a whole garlic bulb.  Sprinkle over the cayenne pepper and mace.
Deglaze the frying pan with red wine, turning up the heat to let it bubble for a minute or 2, then add the Damson Relish, stir, and pour over the meat.  Pour the beef stock over meat, then chop the mushrooms and add them to the dish.  Cover with tinfoil and place in the oven.  Roast this for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 150C and cook for a further 2 hours or until the meat is falling apart and can easily be pulled apart with a fork.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool. 

When cool, discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Remove the meat and place in a large bowl.  Shred the meat and season with a little more salt and pepper, and chopped thyme leaves.  Remove the garlic bulb and squeeze the roasted garlic onto the meat. Stain the juice from the remaining contents of the dish and reserve.  Add the remaining dish contents to the meat mixture, and add a little of the reserved liquid until the mixture is moist but not wet.  Mix well and refrigerate until required.
To make the empanadas, roll out the puff pastry.  Cut circles at approx 8cm across.  Place a tablespoon full of the mixture onto each circle and fold the circles in half. Use a fork to seal the parcels and place on an oven tray.  Brush each empanada with egg wash and cook in a preheated oven (220C) for 15 to 20 minutes until the empanadas are cooked and golden brown.

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