Beef and Barley Buns

IMG_3843This recipe is a great crowd-pleaser and worth every step it takes to make. They can be larger, grapefruit sized buns to serve as mains, or tiny golf ball-sized appetizers. We liked to increase the meat to dough ratio so used up all the beef and barley. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients
Beef and Barley
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef
splash olive oil
2 fresh bay leaves
1 star anise
2 tbsp pearl barley
10 sprigs fresh thyme, picked
3/4 cup shiraz wine
4 cups fresh chicken broth
Dough
1/4 oz package active dry yeast
1 tbsp superfine sugar
3 2/3 cup strong bread flour, extra for dusting
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
Horseradish Sauce
3 heaping tbsp jarred horseradish
4 heaping tbsp crème fraîche
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Instructions
Beef and Barley
Fry the beef with a splash of oil on medium-high until browned.
Add in finely chopped carrots and onions, bay leaves, star anise and pearl barley, stir in picked thyme leaves. Add in wine to deglaze, and once reduced add the stock. Cover and let cook for two hours, uncovered for an additional 40 minutes.
Season to perfection and chill overnight.
Dough
Make dough the next day. Combine yeast, sugar and tepid water, leave for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile rub butter and flour together until consistency is crumbly.
Pour in yeast mixture, milk and sea salt.
Mix with a spoon then knead with hands until smooth and silky.
Roll into a log, divide into 20 even sized balls.
Leave to proof until doubled in size.
Assembly
Preheat oven to 325F.
Discard bay leaf and star anise.
One by one, flatten balls and add a heaping, dessert spoon full of filling.
Pull the sides of dough up and around the filling, pinch together to seal. Place sealed side down on baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Horseradish Sauce
Combine jarred horseradish, crème fraîche and white wine vinegar. Add fresh grated horseradish for garnish.