Scottish Beef Stew Topped with a Phyllo Dough Crust

Scottish Beef Stew Topped with a Phyllo Dough Crust

Scottish Beef Stew Topped with a Phyllo Dough Crust

My take on classic Scottish Beef Stew—the butteriness Phyllo dough crust adds a delicious dimension of flavor and texture. I’ve also substituted leeks for yellow onions and flat iron steak for beef chuck. The flat iron, while more expensive is ultimately more tender. And for me, this is the perfect sort of dish to serve on a winter evening along with a hearty red. It’s pure comfort food. In this case, a bottle of 2000 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse fit the bill nicely.

I had a brief moment, pondering the addition of a tablespoon or two of beef demi-glace. In the end, I decided against it. The liquid develops more than enough flavor to carry the dish, and it felt suitably rich.

Scottish Beef Stew Topped with a Phyllo Dough Crust

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Scottish Beef Stew Topped with a Phyllo Dough Crust


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 Pounds flat iron steak or well-marbled boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 pounds well-marbled boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Leeks, white and pale green parts only, washed well and thinly sliced
  • 2 Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 Celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Cups dry red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons red currant jelly
  • 2 Cups beef stock
  • 2 Thyme sprigs, leaves removed from stems
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • Phyllo dough, defrosted


  1. Defrost phyllo dough overnight in the refrigerator or for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the rutabaga and gently sauté until just browned. Place the skillet on the center rack of the oven and roast the rutabaga for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, salt and pepper the beef, then generously dredge it in flour. [Drink a glass of wine.] Remove the skillet from the oven and place the rutabaga in a large bowl. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the half of the cubed beef to the skillet, sauté it until it's browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to the bowl with the rutabaga, then sauté the remaining beef. Set it aside with the rest of the beef.
  5. Add the butter to the skillet, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook the leeks, carrots and celery, taking care not to overly brown the leeks. Toss in the garlic and thyme. Add the currant jelly and the wine and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Pour beef and rutabaga back into the skillet. Continue simmering the stew until the liquid has thickened and has reduced by around 50%. Turn off the heat.
  7. On a clean work surface, unroll the phyllo dough. Using an inverted ramekin, take a paring knife to cut around the edge of the ramekin. Repeat this for each ramekin you use. [I used three, with each ramekin holding 1.5 cups of stew.] Fill the ramekins with stew. Then top each ramekin with phyllo dough. Add one sheet at a time, brushing butter on each sheet. Set the finished ramekins on a baking tray.
  8. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the pastry has puffed and is a golden brown. Serve immediately.
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Fill each ramekin with stew, then top it with layers of phyllo dough. Brush each later with butter.

Fill each ramekin with stew, then top it with layers of phyllo dough. Brush each layer with butter.

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