This recipe for Beef and Guinness pie might seem more appropriate for St. Patrick's day, but I thought the cold and rainy weather last night warranted a hearty winter meal. This really is the perfect cold weather comfort food -- beef, mushrooms and carrots braised in beef broth and Guinness and then baked into a puff pastry crust.
What's not to love??
I couldn't find exactly the recipe I was looking for, so I adapted this one from an Epicurious recipe found here and combined it with a Jamie Oliver recipe, which I found here.
This is a weekend recipe, meaning you'll need to devote some time to it. The meat needs to braise slowly in the oven for a few hours, cool, and then get baked into the pie.
The smell of this cooking is incredible, and after a few hours you may be tempted to skip the pastry crust and just dive into the stew....
But, trust me, the texture and flavor of the pie is heavenly -- worth the effort, and the wait.
2 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck or stew meat, cut into 1" pieces
3 TBS flour
3 TBS olive oil
1 Medium onion diced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots diceed
8-10oz fresh mushrooms, such as baby bella, sliced
3 medium-sized yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced, about 1 1/2 cups
2 TBS tomato paste
1 Cup beef broth
1 cup Guinness
1-2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons fresh Thyme, removed from stems and chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, removed from stems and chopped
1 Bay Leaf
1 package frozen puff pastry sheets
1 egg beaten
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Combine flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper in a medium sized bowl.
Pat the cubed beef dry and toss it in the flour to coat. Once coated, remove from the bowl and place on a plate.
2. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown the beef in batches, placing the browned beef in a bowl when it's finished.
3. Add the onion, garlic and 1/4 cup water to the dutch oven. The water will help pull the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the onion to soften approx. 5 minutes, then add the fresh herbs and stir until fragrant. Now throw in the tomato paste, and stir to coat. Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the Beef and juices from the bowl, the beef broth, Guinness and Worcestershire. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering tuck a bay leaf into the stew and cover. Place in the oven for approx. 11/5 hours, or until the beef and vegetables are tender and the sauce is thick.
5. While the beef is braising, boil the potatoes until just tender. Drain in a colander and set aside.
6. Take the cooked stew from the oven and remove the bay leaf. Allow the stew to cool uncovered for about 30 minutes. Once cool, stir in the potatoes. Taste the stew and add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Increase the oven temp to 425 degrees.
8. While the stew is cooling remove the puff pastry from the freezer and take two sheets from the package. Place them on a plate to thaw. Do not try to unroll them until they have thawed, otherwise they will break. It will take about 30 minutes for the pastry to thaw.
9. Once thawed, roll the dough out on a floured surface so that it is large enough to fit inside your casserole dish with about an inch of overhang, about 1/8" thick. I baked mine in a 13" x 9" baking dish. Place the first sheet of dough in the bottom of the pan and fill the pan with the stew.
10. Beat the egg with a Tablespoon of water and set aside.
11. Now, roll the second piece of dough out large enough to fit over the top of the pan with a 1" overhang. Use a sharp knife to score the dough in a crisscross pattern and then place the dough on top of the stew. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal.
12. Brush the top of the crust with the beaten egg and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for approx. 30 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through and golden brown.