We’re all super excited for summer but some spots around the country are still experiencing cold, chilly nights. Instead of cursing the final breath of winter why not celebrate it with a hearty and delicious meal? This twist on a old classic is the perfect way to fill hungry bellies and say goodbye to winter. From the kitchen of chef Johan van Schalkwyk comes an imaginative twist to your standard beef pie – a beef- and cranberry-filled phyllo pie. This dish is as appetising as it sounds and adds some flavour to any dinner party with its meaty filling and hints of juicy Drostdy-Hof Claret.

Recipe: Beef and Cranberry Phyllo Pie

Ingredients

For the braised beef:

2kg beef – on the bone (beef shin, short rib or silverside)

2 medium onions, chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 leeks, sliced and washed to get rid of the grit

10g thyme, chopped

10g parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves

4 juniper berries

1-litre beef stock, preferably home-made

For the filling:

2 onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

250g streaky bacon, chopped

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup Drostdy-Hof Claret Select

400g button mushrooms, quartered

5g parsley

5g thyme

5g oregano

4 tbsp flour

4 tbsp wholegrain mustard

150ml cream

Salt

Coarse black pepper

To assemble:

400g phyllo pastry

Butter

Olive oil

Method

To braise the beef:

1. In a large pot, heat some olive oil over high heat.

2. Season the beef with salt and pepper, then brown the meat on all sides. Set aside.

3. Add a little olive oil to the pot and put in the onions, celery, carrots and leeks and sauté for a few minutes to give a little colour to the vegetables, but do not brown.

4. Add the beef to the pot and top up with the stock.

5. Then add the herbs, bay leaves and juniper berries.

6. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat. Allow to simmer for about 3,5 to 4 hours until the meat falls off the bone.

7. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside to cool.

8. Strain the liquid over a bowl and keep the stock.

9. Once the meat has cooled to the touch, using your hands shred it into fine pieces

To prepare the filling:

1. In a large pot, add the bacon, onions and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent and the bacon has some colour.

2. Add the cranberries and fry for three minutes.

3. Deglaze the pot with the wine and allow it to reduce by half.

4. Add the mushrooms and the herbs.

5. In a bowl combine the flour, mustard and the rest of the stock and whisk until the flour has dissolved, then add this to the pot.

6. Add the meat; allow the contents to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the cream and remove the pot from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Allow this mixture to cool completely.

To assemble the pies:

1. Melt some butter and add an equal amount of olive oil.

2. Cut the phyllo pastry sheet in half. Place a sheet of the phyllo pastry on a flat surface and brush it with the butter mixture. Place another sheet on the first one so that they together form a T-shape. Brush with some more butter mixture.

3. Lay the pastry in front of you so that the longer sides are closest to you.

4. Place five tablespoons of the filling in the centre of the pastry, and then fold the sides in towards the centre. Roll the pie away from you until a perfect parcel has formed.

5. Place this on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the filling and pastry.

6. Bake the parcels in an oven set at 180°C for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.

7. Cut the pie into slices or pieces, depending on the number of guests you have.

The Drostdy-Hof Claret Select is available in 375ml and 750ml bottles as well as in 2L and 5L boxes. Prices vary from R20 to R150 at liquor outlets. For more information on Johan, visit his website.