Beef & Guinness Pie

We’re back from our beautiful family vacation in Hawaii! We definitely needed this break, and I’ll tell you all about our trip soon (likely over here). But for now, I thought I’d share this comforting recipe while winter still descends upon us for a few more weeks. Going away during the colder months is always a grand idea, but returning to the gloomy snow and temperatures below zero is never fun…even if I do love coming home to my bed. Comforting braises, stews, and meat pies are the ultimate way for me to warm my insides, and this particular pie is one we turn to again-and-again during the cold months of the year. This pie take some tender, loving care to become the tender, juicy, robust dish that it is, but it is so worth it in the end. Plus you can just open up a good book and curl up in a cozy blanket while you braise away the filling throughout the day.

Try not to judge me: but this recipe originally came from Jamie Oliver. I realize I just posted about a recipe of his…but I have no shame. So here is another one of this dreamboat’s chef’s delicious dinners.

Beef & Guinness Pie

Adapted from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver

Note: even you you think you don’t like stouts/porters, you should give this recipe a try. As the meat braises, the Guinness creates a thick, robust sauce that is not heavily barley flavoured. 

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing dish
1 large red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 1/2 lbs stewing beef (brisket, chuck, etc.), cut into 1″ cubes
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary (because I didn’t have fresh…use some fresh rosemary if you have it)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pint size can of Guinness
2 heaped Tbsp flour
1/2 – 1 cup of beef stock
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large dutch oven (preferably cast iron), heat the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes until softened, but with not much colour to them. Turn the heat up to medium-high, stir-in the garlic, carrots and celery. Add the beef, thyme, rosemary, salt & pepper to the pot and fry for another 5 minutes. Pour in the Guinness and stir in the flour. Add enough of the beef stock just to cover the beef mixture. Bring the “stew” to a simmer, then cover the pan with the lid and place in the oven.

Braise the stew for 1 & 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and give it a quick stir. Return the stew back to the oven for an additional hour or until the stew is very thick and dark and the meat is tender. Remove from the oven and check the seasonings – add more salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

(At this point you can leave the oven on while the stew cools if you will be making the pie right away. Or turn off the oven and put your filling in the fridge to make the pie the following day)

Grease a pie dish with some butter. If your 1 lb of puff pastry is just in one piece, cut it in half (typically you’ll find a pound of puff pasty in two blocks or sheets when you purchase it). On a lightly floured surface, roll out one sheet of puff pastry so it will fit inside the pie dish, with some of the edges hanging over. Gently line the greased pie dish with pastry, then pour in the prepared beef stew. Top the pie with the cheddar cheese, and brush the edges of the hanging puff pastry with the beaten egg. Roll out the remaining puff pastry so it will fit over the pie, place it over top and crimp together the two pieces of puff pastry. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg and make a few slashes in the pastry to allow steam to escape.

Bake the pie on the bottom rack of the oven (at 375ºF) for approximately 45 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and puffed up. Allow to cool slightly (approximately 10-15 minutes) then serve. As Jamie states, this pie is great just served with some hot peas.

Serves 4.

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