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Beef Skillet Pie
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ pounds lean beef chuck, cut into bite-sized pieces (1 ½ inches or so)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
3 carrots, cut on bias about 2 inches
2 ribs celery, cut on bias about 1 inch
1 onion, quartered and sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder or Aleppo pepper
2 inches cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup red wine
1 cup beef bone broth or stock
3 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced ¼-1/3 inch
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve
Preheat oven to 325°F, with rack at center.
Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Season meat (pat dry, room temp) with salt and pepper and brown all over 5 to 6 minutes, then remove. Add 2 tablespoons butter and lower heat to medium-low. Add carrots, celery, onions, salt and pepper and stir a few minutes. Add garlic, bay, allspice, cloves, chili powder, cinnamon and tomato paste and stir 2 minutes more. Sprinkle in flour and stir, then add red wine and stock, add beef back and simmer 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon and bay and top with a spiral or concentric circles of sliced potatoes. Melt the last of the butter and brush the potatoes with it, then season them with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme. Cover pan with foil and bake 1 ½ hours until tender, uncover and broil to brown potatoes a couple of minutes. Top with parsley and serve.