Beef and Stout Pie

If you read my last post, you heard me going on about my new favorite cookbook, The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook, that I got for Christmas. I just can’t put this book down. Cookbooks are like novels for me anyway – I tend to read them from cover to cover marking interesting recipes along the way. I’ve had this one a little over a month now and it’s already dog-eared.  And spattered. That’s when you know it’s always going to be a favorite :-)

When I read through the first time, this Beef and Stout Pie recipe immediately caught my attention. It must have been a cold day and I was craving some comfort food because that’s exactly what this recipe is – comfort personified. It’s a near perfect combination of beef, mushrooms, onions, and Guinness – that wonderful Irish brew. Dark and hearty on its own, the Guinness gives an incredible richness to the finished pie. Its flavor goes particularly well with the beef.

Don’t let the length of this recipe scare you away. Even though it has quite a few steps, it’s really a simple recipe. To put it very simply, you make a beef stew, put it in a dish, top it with pastry, and bake it off. And you don’t have to stand and stir or watch a pot. Most of the cooking goes on unattended by the cook.

Prepping beef for Beef and Stout Pie

This recipe calls for chuck steak and that’s what I used. A chuck roast would work just as well. Start by cutting the chuck steak (or roast) into 1-inch pieces removing as much visible fat as possible. Then, in a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Toss the steak cubes with the flour mixture until each piece is thoroughly coated.

Browning beef for Beef and Stout Pie

In a heavy skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat. Cook the beef until it’s browned on all sides. Work in batches and don’t over crowd the pan. Transfer the beef to a heavy Dutch oven as you work. When all the beef has been browned, drain off and discard any excess oil in the pan. Add 1/4 cup of the beef broth or stock to deglaze the pan. Pour the deglazing liquid into the Dutch oven with the browned beef.

Cooking onions and mushrooms for Beef and Stout Pie

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook 6-7 minutes or until light brown. Add the onions and mushrooms to the Dutch oven with the beef.

Add Guinness to Beef and Stout Pie

Just a note about the stout. You can use any dark ale or stout that you like in this recipe. I just prefer Guinness. And, as I understand it, so do Irish cooks. They consider it the only stout suitable for cooking with beef. If you have access to Guinness, I highly recommend it in this pie.

Everything in the pot for Beef and Stout Pie

Add the tomato paste, thyme, stout, and remaining beef broth or stock to the Dutch oven. Heat over medium high heat until the mixture comes to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently with the lid slightly askew for 1 1/2 hours. At the end of the cooking time, test the mixture for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Let the mixture sit until cooled.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out the puff pastry

You can bake your pie in either one baking dish or individual dishes. Choose the dish(es) and cut a pastry topping a bit larger than the top of the dish. Roll out the thawed puff pastry, turn the dish upside down on it and cut around the dish leaving about a 1/4” margin all around.

Transfer mixture to baking dishes

Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat mixture from the liquid and put into either one baking dish or individual dishes. Ladle in enough of the liquid to nearly cover the meat filling.  Dampen the rim of the baking dish(es) and top with the puff pastry. Press down gently so that the pastry sticks to the dish.

Beef and Stout Pies ready for the oven

Place the prepared pie(s) on a baking sheet. Brush the top(s) with beaten egg yolk and slash the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape while baking.

Place the baking sheet with the prepared pie(s) in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit briefly to cool. Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig if desired.

Enjoy!

Beef and Stout Pie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A traditional Irish recipe for a beef and stout pot pie. Rich, hearty, pub cooking!
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 lb. chuck steak
  • 3 tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 5 tblsp. oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups beef stock or broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 tblsp. tomato paste
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup stout (recommended: Guinness)
  • 1 lb. puff-pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. Cut the chuck steak into 1-inch pieces removing as much visible fat as possible. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Toss the steak cubes with the flour mixture until each piece is thoroughly coated.
  2. In a heavy skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat. Cook the beef until browned on all sides. Work in batches and don’t over crowd the pan. Transfer the beef to a heavy Dutch oven as you work. When all the beef has been browned, drain off and discard any excess oil in the pan. Add 1/4 cup of the beef broth or stock to deglaze the pan. Pour the deglazing liquid into the Dutch oven with the browned beef.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook 6-7 minutes or until light brown. Add to the Dutch oven with the beef.
  4. Add the tomato paste, thyme, stout, and remaining beef broth or stock to the Dutch oven. Heat over medium high heat until the mixture comes to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently with the lid slightly askew for 1 1/2 hours. At the end of the cooking time, test the mixture for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  5. Let the mixture sit until cooled.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  7. You can bake your pie in either one baking dish or individual dishes. Choose the dish(es) and cut a pastry topping a bit larger than the top of the dish. Roll out the thawed puff pastry, turn the dish upside down on it and cut around the dish leaving about a 1/4” margin all around.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat mixture from the liquid and put into either one baking dish or individual dishes. Ladle in enough of the liquid to nearly cover the meat filling. Dampen the rim of the baking dish(es) and top with the puff pastry. Press down gently so that the pastry sticks to the dish.
  9. Place the prepared pie(s) on a baking sheet. Brush the top(s) with beaten egg yolk and slash the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape while baking.
  10. Place the baking sheet with the prepared pie(s) in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and let sit briefly to cool. Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig if desired.
Notes
Recipe from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook

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Comments

    • says

      I’m sure I’ve seen that recipe on your blog, Barb, and it sounds fantastic. The love the way the Guinness in this makes such a rich gravy. And the puff pastry topper is just perfect with that filling.

  1. says

    I am in love, and the length of the recipe is totally okay with me!!! Guinness is one of my favorite beers, this seriously sounds like a perfect comfort food!!! Hugs, Terra

    • says

      Hi Terra! Even though it looks like a long recipe, it’s actually very simple. And the Guinness…it goes so perfectly with the beef. Hope you try this one – I think you’ll really enjoy it!

  2. says

    These pies look marvelous! I love that they’re individual servings….I can put all the mushrooms in mine and keep the hubby happy. It’s just his kind of dish :)

  3. says

    This is one of my all time favorite dishes … and you are right… Guinness is the only stout to make it with!!! I generally make mine with a hot water crust but puff pastry would really take it over the top!!

    • says

      We had this pie on a very cold Sunday afternoon and it was just so perfect. I almost can’t describe how perfect it is. And the puff pastry really is just right for it – light and crisp and flaky. I need to make this again asap.

    • says

      Betsy – you might be able to do the simmering of the filling in the slow cooker. You’d have to cook it up to the simmer stage first and then transfer it to the slow cooker. You’d then need to transfer the filling to a dish and put the puff pastry on to go in the oven. The puff pastry would just turn to goo in the slow cooker.

      Another idea – you could make your beef and stout filling ahead of time, like on the weekend maybe, and refrigerate it. When you’re ready to finish the cooking, take it out and let it come to room temperature (about 30-45 minutes), then add the puff pastry and bake it.

      • Jennifer says

        Making the filling ahead of time works well. I have done it a few times. I do store the meat/veggie separately from the liquid in the refrigerator. I have also made with lean ground beef and shortened the braising time. Not totally the same slow-cooked flavor but it worked well for a busy evening.

        My fiancé loves this dish no matter which method is used.

  4. Patty says

    This recipe sounds delicious and perfect for a cold autumn/winter night. I made homemade chicken pot pit last week for someone who said they HATE chicken pot pit but he LOVED it. Can’t wait to try this one on him.

    • says

      Karen – those baking dishes are about 6″ by 4″. I used three that time. You can use any size you like, just cut the puff pastry to fit the ones you choose. I also make it in one large baking dish as well.

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