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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Other savory pie recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Ham and Greens Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust from girlichef
- Three Bean Chili Pot Pies from How Sweet It Is
- Sweet Sausage Cabbage Pie with Dill and Feta from SippitySup
- Beef and Potato Pie from The Meaning of Pie
- Scallop Pot Pie from Forkable
- Ina Garten’s Lobster Pot Pie from Food Network
What I was up to…
- One year ago: Lasagna
- Two years ago: Tomato-Tarragon Soup
- Three years ago: Italian Sausage and Peppers