Finally back with some decent time to do some cooking, take some pics and blog it all! (sadly the rest of the year will be pretty inconsistent blogging wise) Told my friends I’d be making ratatouille for dinner this weekend. I also told them I would be baking it in a flaky quick puff pastry crust. Side B of Plan A worked. Finding eggplant and zucchini in Vancouver this time of the year… forget it. The most beautiful beets and leeks though. Anyways. I was still able to find awesome bell peppers. I scratched my rat plans and decided to let my carnivore instinct dictate the shopping list. I’ve made meat pies in the past but I usually use pizza dough, or traditional short crusts. I have an empanadas recipe on the blog that use a similar crust to the one I made tonight.
The photographic beauty of a galette is hardly matched by other baked goods (true, pizzas easily compete here. Yes, the mighty croissant of course) and I haven’t made a galette before. For the record. I don’t even know if a galette can be stuffed with savoury things. I also don’t know if quick puff pastry belongs in an official french certified galette. I’ll let me french cuisine connoisseurs enlighten me. When I was done, it looked like a galette, and most importantly, it tasted like heaven.
No ratatouille then. Still, I wasn’t feeling like spending too much time prepping or plating. I just wanted to throw something in the oven and 1 hour later have something delicious to eat and pretty to shoot. Cant’ go wrong with baked goods. The oven does all the hard work which is great. I wanna throw my dirty dishes and my tax return forms in it too. Together.
The weather is cold enough now to start the pastry/baking phase of my year. And with pastry-making comes butter. Butter is the most delicious thing known to man. Fight me all you want. It is. Butter and flour combined is the second most delicious thing known to man. I bet even extraterrestrial beings love it. If a xenomorph comes after me with its double mandible thingy, I’ll throw a croissant at it… Thank you five people! Alien movie reference, done.
So here we are. From ratatouille to meat galette. Let’s go!
Ingredients (servings: 4-6 Cooking Time: ~2 hours):
The meat filling:
800g Sweet Bell Peppers. thinly sliced (assorted colors)
400g Leek. Thinly sliced.
500g Ground Beef.
150g Smoked bacon.
6 sherry tomatoes. Thinly sliced.
1 Tbsp minced garlic.
1/2 Tbsp Tomato paste.
1 tsp dry thyme powder
Splash of fish sauce. (trust me)
2 Tbsp of kimchi juice (optional)
2 Tbsp heavy cream.
Salt and pepper to taste.
The quick puff pastry dough:
110g AP flour
110g really cold butter
2-3 Tbsp chilled water
pinch of salt
Make the quick puff pastry. Follow the instructions on my heirloom tomato and mozzarella tarts. This is how it works. You can make this days in advance. It even freezes well, so you can make it months in advance. Whichever the case, get this out of the way before you cook the filling. Making this quick puff pastry is really rewarding and rather easy. Follow the instructions on the link and you should be ok. Keep cold until ready to use. Room temperature isn’t cold. I let my doors open to lower the temperature in my apartment while making. The colder the better. And since you’re gonna preheat your oven, probably best if you keep the dough in the freezer right before assembly.
Making the veggie stuffing. Here we go. This is probably trickier than the quick puff pastry. Dehydration is the name of the game. We need to make sure the veggies and the meat have little water left. Reduce water and concentrate flavour. There are many ways to get there but I wanted it all done super fast so I pot roasted everything. Veggies and Meat in separate pots over high heat. Add the peppers and the leeks together. Add some salt. Cook over high heat for about 20 mins stirring occasionally making sure nothing burns. Browning is ok and very welcomed. Towards the end to the cooking time add the tomato paste and the garlic. Stir well. Remove from the stove.
Making the meat stuffing. Add the bacon to a pot over high heat. Render the fat and brown it. Add the meat. Cook over high heat for about 20 mins. Allow the water to boil off and some browning happen. Takes some stirring and patience. Add some salt. Remove from the stove.
The stuffings combine their powers… whaaat? Combine the two over medium high heat. Add the cream. Add the thyme. Reduce the cream. We don’t want a runny filling. Can’t stress this enough. It will be about 5 mins. Before you use the stuffing you need it cold. You can wait a million hours before this happens or you can spread the stuffing over a clean baking tray and stick that in the freezer. Surface area working for us. It will take a few minutes before that stuffing is cold.
Galette assembly. This is it. The moment of truth. Bring the pastry dough of the freezer. Bring the stuffing out of the freezer. Everything is cold. Everything is gonna be ok. Lay the pastry dough over a baking pan liked with parchment paper. Place the filling over the dough, spread it out a bit. Layer the sliced tomatoes over the stuffing. Fold the edges of the dough to form the galette. Poke holes into the top side of the dough. Want to make sure steam can be released (super flaky galette). Bake at 400F for about 20 mins. Reduce temperature of the oven to 360F. Bake for another 40 min approximately or until golden and photogenic. Done. Not too hard right?
Now I go watch Alien by Ridley Scott. James Cameron’s is fun but Ridley’s is…
A… M… A… Z… I… N… G…
I’ll be boarding the Nostromo soon… with my croissant. Good night.