Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Beef & Guinness Pie


One of our favorite meals at my house is called Beef & Guinness Pie.  The key ingredients, beef & Guinness beer are never considered a bad thing around here.

I adapted this recipe from Margaret M. Johnson's The Irish Pub Cookbook.  It's a fabulous cookbook that not only has wonderful photographs of the food, but of locations around Ireland as well.

The key to this dish is letting the beef marinade for 24 hours before you cook.

Day One:
2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1/2" chunks
2 cans Guinness stout
1 clove garlic (or more, we love garlic here)
2 bay leaves

Combine all this in a bowl and give it a good stir.  Refrigerate until you are ready to cook the next day.

Day Two:
2 cans Guinness stout
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 large carrots, peeled & diced
1 large onion, sliced
1.5 cups frozen peas
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1 bouquet garni (a cheesecloth bag containing 3 sprigs fresh parsley, 1 sprig fresh thyme, 8-10 peppercorns and 1 bay leaf)
Wondra Gravy Flour
Pillsbury All-Ready Pie Crust
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water


On cooking day, drain the marinade and put the beef into a stockpot.  Add the 2 cans of Guinness, and the beef broth.  Over medium heat, bring this mixture to a boil.  Skim any foam off the top.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1-1.5 hours.  Add the carrots, onion, salt, pepper and bouquet garni and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the carrots are slightly tender.  Add the peas and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Sprinkle in the Wondra Gravy Flour, cooking & stirring until the liquid is thickened.

The book has you making a pastry crust, but I don't have time for that.  That's where the miracle product of a Pillsbury All-Ready Pie Crust comes in very handy.  Let it warm up in your kitchen for about 10-15 minutes before using it.

Meanwhile, you want to preheat your oven to 375°F.  Remove the bouquet garni from your stockpot and transfer the filling into a 10" deep dish pie plate, spooning some of the liquid into the pie dish.  Reserve the rest for later.  Cover the pie plate with the pastry, cutting a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.  This is where I like to use my little decorative cutters.  I cut a few vents out of the pastry, and then attach the cut-outs to the pastry with a dab of your egg wash.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until it is a beautiful golden brown.  I always put a cookie sheet in the rack below the pie dish, because it sometimes wants to bubble over.  While this is baking, run the cooking liquid through a strainer, into a saucepan.  Put it on medium-high heat, adding a bit more gravy flour, bring to a boil, stirring until thickened.

I love to serve this over homemade Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, drizzling this with the gravy.

Hope you enjoy this as much as our family does!





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