Tag Archive for Blackberries

Blue Cheese Filled Puff Pastry with Blackberry Sauce

Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs

I don’t work with puff pastry often. I use it to make baked brie and that’s pretty much it. When I saw blue cheese, blackberries and puff pastry in the mystery basket, I knew I was going to make blue cheese filled puff pastry with blackberry sauce. I was pretty confident about the puff pastry, but had never made a blackberry sauce. I’ll be honest…I’d make it again in a heartbeat!!

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 25 min


Blue cheese filled puff pastry

2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted

4 oz. Blue cheese, crumbled

1 egg

Blackberry Sauce

1 pint of blackberries, washed

1/4 cup sugar

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Parchment paper

Pastry Brush

Wooden Spoon

Preparing Blue Cheese Filled Puff Pastry with Blackberry Sauce:

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out one sheet of puff pastry onto the parchment paper and sprinkle it with blue cheese. Gently lay the other puff pastry sheet on top, pinching the edges together. Crack the egg in a bowl and whisk it with 1T of water for an egg wash. Brush the egg wash all over the top of the puff pastry to help it turn a more deep brown color. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  

Blue Cheese Puff Pastry

While the puff pastry is cooking, put the blackberries in a saucepan over medium high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the blackberries break down and start to liquify. Using a wooden spoon to smash the blackberries once they begin to soften will help with the process. When the blackberries start turning to nice bubbly sauce, add the sugar and stir well.

Blackberry Sauce


The sauce will be thick and will be done in the time it takes to cook the puff pastry. How convenient is that?

Cut the puff pastry into squares and top with blackberry sauce!

Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs


Any cheese would be fantastic inside of the puff pastry, as well as any other berry sauce. 

Meal Ideas:

I served this along side roasted rutabagas and Brussels sprouts, and chipotle beer braised short ribs as a part of the McNack’s Kitchen First-ever Mystery Basket.

Look at you, Denise! Stepping so far outside of your comfort zone! Rather impressive! Just in case you are still picking the blackberry seeds out of your teeth, you may want to strain the sauce through a wire mesh strainer next time. 😉


Oh, and you should watch the video again since you clearly changed the rules even though you are always saying that I’m the one changing the rules! You said you were going to cook the short ribs in the puff pastry and blue cheese not serve next to….just sayin’  ~Melissa


My sauce was so thick that it wouldn’t go through the strainer. I did try that. Surprisingly the seeds weren’t an issue. It was all good though. 


Oh…and as I’ve explained to you…I must have more of a Southern accent than you do. Either that or I just don’t enunciate my words clearly. Either explanation is possible. When you think I said “in” what I really said was “and”. Most likely it came out as “en”. ~Denise

Explanation or excuse? You be the judge. ~Melissa


Blackberry and Red Wine Braised Short Rib Pie

short ribs in puff pastry

Short ribs! I ADORE these little things. Amazing flavor can be imparted by braising them in a whole hose of different flavors. But, since one of our mystery challenge ingredients was blackberries, I opted to braise them with the short ribs and a bit of wine, then make it into a ‘pie’ using the puff pastry mystery ingredient. Oh my! Since there were not a ton of short ribs, I also added some baby portabella mushrooms to add some volume, texture and flavor. You’ll have to try this blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie!!

Level of Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time ~ 4hours (2 1/2 hours for short ribs, 30 minutes to reduce sauce and 30 minutes to bake the pie).

If you have the time, braise the short ribs one day and make the pie the next. This gives the short ribs plenty of time to soak in the flavors and allows you to skim off the cooled fat as short ribs are a fatty piece of meat.


2 1/2 lbs short ribs

2 carrots, diced small

1 onion, diced small

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 T flour

1 T tomato paste

1/2 bottle dry red wine

1/2 t thyme

1/2 t rosemary, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 pint blackberries

1 pint sliced baby bellas

18oz beef stock

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1 package of puff pastry, defrosted when ready to use

1 egg and 1 T water

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Ceramic Dutch Oven – a must!

Wire mesh strainer

Glass Pie Dish

How to make blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season short ribs generously with salt and pepper.

Blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie

Prepare the Dutch oven on the stove with olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the short ribs on all sides (work in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan) until a deep golden brown. Remove from the Dutch oven and set aside.

Blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie

Add the diced onions and carrots to the pan and sauté until tender. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits.

braising short ribs

Add 2 T flour and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Then add 1 T tomato paste and stir for another minute. This adds a lot of flavor, really!

When ready, pour in 1/2 a bottle of dry red wine (Cabernet will do the trick), then pour a glass for yourself. Stir and scrape up anything from the bottom of the pan. Reduce by about half. It took mine about 8-10 minutes.

Blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie

Add the thyme, rosemary, garlic and bay leaf. Also add the blackberries, portabellas and beef stock. Bring back up to a simmer.

braised short ribs with blackberries

Add the short ribs back to the Dutch oven, cover and put in oven for 2 1/2 hours or until the short ribs easily shred.

Shred the short ribs, remove the bones and any excess fat or other chewy parts. Now, if you have the time, let the shredded short ribs cool in the braising liquid. They’ll soak it up and be amazing. 

Once cooled, place in fridge overnight. The next day, you can gently scrape up the congealed fat from the top. Then place all of the meat and sauce in a colander over Dutch oven and allow the sauce to come out. Since we are making a pie, we need the braising liquid reduced by a lot! Once you get all of the liquid out, simmer the liquid over medium heat until very thick (reduced by about 2/3). Then strain the sauce using a wire mesh strainer to remove the chunks of carrot and the blackberry seeds.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Return the meat back to the reduced and strained sauce and warm. While it is warming, place 1/2 of the puff pastry in the bottom of a glass pie dish and trim to fit. Once the meat is warm, add to the pie dish and top with the other half of puff pastry. Again, trim to fit and crimp the edges to seal. Brush with the egg wash (1 beaten egg and 1T water).

egg wash on puff pastry

Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Ready your taste buds for a flavor explosion and enjoy!

short ribs in puff pastry

Important Tips:

Season the short ribs well. Sear them well. Cook them at least 2 hours. Reduce the sauce. Strain the blackberry seeds (regardless of what Denise says!)

Meal Ideas:

I served this with the blue cheese and roasted rutabaga puree as a part of the McNack’s Mystery Challenge!

Got Leftovers?:

The pie was great 2 days later even when I reheated in the microwave!!

You lost me at “congealed fat”!! This really looks amazing, though. Please invite me over the next time you make it! ~ Denise

Well, I’d rather scoop out the congealed fat than eat it girlfriend! ~Melissa

McNacks Mystery Challenge: Basket Number 1

Braised short ribs with puff pastry and blackberries

Last week we told you about a new concept that will be doing about once a month called “McNacks Mystery Challenge.” If you missed that post, click here for the details, or better yet, just watch this little video for the background and the unveiling of the first basket!

McNacks 1st Mystery Challenge is now complete!!! We had our good friend and loyal supporter, Kayla Taylor, bring over an amazing basket. We really had no idea what to expect, but she came through with a killer basket!

The first mystery challenge included the following five ingredients:

  • Blue cheese from Point Reyes
  • Puff pasty
  • Blackberries
  • Rutabaga
  • Short ribs

Denise felt like she was in good shape until saw the short ribs and heard Melissa going on about how she was so glad we didn’t have to cook these in just 30 minutes and all the amazing things she could do with the short ribs. (Denise has never cooked short ribs…the main ingredient..nice one)!

Melissa was trying to remember what that giant round thing was in the middle of the basket but tried to cover up her lack of knowledge by deflecting it onto Denise (as you will see when you watch the video,  Denise had no problem showcasing her ignorance).

After five short minutes of research (Melissa was done in about 3 and Denise needed 10, but rules are rules), this is what we decided we were going to make:

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Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs with Puff Pastry and Blackberry Sauce and a side of Roasted Rutabaga and Brussels Sprouts


Blackberry and Red Wine Braised Short Rib Pie with Blue Cheese and Roasted Rutabaga Puree. Melissa made a green vegetable too but hated it. She attempted a simple garlic sautéed broccoli rabe (rappini) but it was uber bitter and she hated it. Have to figure out a better way to cook that next time but luckily, it wasn’t part of the basket!!