Beef and Guinness Pie

7 Jan

Beef and Guinness Pie

I made this pie absolutely ages ago, while my boyfriend was away and I was mooning around after him. I wanted to make him something nice when he got back, and in my beffuddled state doing a dish that took two days to cook seemed reasonable. It was warming, filling and comforting and now that I’m back at work and suffering with a stinking, rotten cold it’s all I can think about.

I had a bit of a Google when making this and all the recipes are pretty much the same so it’s hard to link to just one thing, but like all pies and stews you can pretty much throw in whatever you fancy and it’ll all turn out all right in the end.

The pie I made was accidentally ENORMOUS and could have quite happily served 10 even with large servings of mash and other pie accoutrements, so I’ve halved the amounts below.

For the puff pastry I used Valentine Warner’s recipe just without the lemon juice because I forgot to buy lemons and I didn’t bother measuring it out when I rolled it or anything because who on earth could be arsed? and it looked pretty shit and shoddy the whole way through but WORKED so yeah. There we go. On the other hand you could just buy some because you probably have a life. 

For the filling:

  • 500g stewing beef. Ask the butcher to cube it for you as I tried to do this myself once and trust me you would rather cut your own hands off
  • A can or bottle of Guinness or whatever dark stout you’ve (probably?) got knocking around – you may need more if you think your mix starts to look a bit dry
  • 1 onion – red or white – sliced
  • 2 – 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Vegetables of your choice – it’s all down to taste, you don’t have to use any if you don’t want to but they are good for you
  • Good handful of strong cheddar
  • Plain flour to thicken
  • Chopped, dried rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves or a handy pre-made bouquet garni
  • Beaten egg for glazing

I made the filling the day before as I always think stews etc taste better the next day and it meant I could give it a nice, low, long cook. But if you’ve got the time it can all be done on the day you want to serve it. 

Because I am a bit of a wanker I decided to be a show off and use a marrow bone as a pie funnel. As the pie cooks all the marrow melts into the filling which is obviously awesome and looks pretty bloody special. If you decide to do this don’t make a pastry bottom for the pie, just a lid, as otherwise it’ll seal the end of the bone. I speak from experience. Learn from me. You can pick the bones up from a butcher for next to nothing, but don’t send my vegetarian mum to get them otherwise the butchers will take the piss and send her home with A GIGANTIC HIP AND SOME SPINE. 

ARGH

 

RIGHT. Heat up a large casserole (I used a pan and then transferred everything into my oven-only pot) with a big slug of a tasteless oil such as groundnut or rapeseed on the stove and then throw in the sliced onion and the finely chopped garlic – fry these off until they’re soft and just starting to go brown. 

Beef and Guinness Pie

 

Add the beef and brown before adding in your vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. It should look something like this:

Beef and Guinness Pie

Add all the Guinness and stir in a couple of tablespoons of plain flour to thicken it up before popping the lid on and shoving it in the oven on a very low heat for three or four hours. Towards the end you’ll want it to reduce slightly so uncover and let it sit for a while, stirring ever so often. But what if you FORGET it’s in there? What if you’re too busy tweeting about this awesome pie you are making and don’t CHECK on it? I’ll tell you what. This. This is what happens:

Beef and Guinness Pie

 

Don’t let this happen. Though the magic of pies and slow cooking means you can just pick and pull the burnt bits off. The thing is, if you’ve let this happen you’re probably pissed and will eat a bit of the boiling hot burnt bits and blister the roof of your mouth. You’ve been warned. Add a bit more Guinness to you and the pie and just hope for the best. 

If you’re eating this the next day now is the time to turn off the heat and let your filling sit. If not you can skip to the next step.

Line you pie dish with pastry if you’re using a base, leaving a bit of extra around the rim to stick the lid to.

Pop in your pie funnel or marrow bone and measure our your lid to fit. Spoon in your filling until it’s nearly at the top of the dish but leave some space, and throw in your cheese. 

Brush around the edges with beaten egg to seal and pop your pastry lid on top, cutting a hole over the funnel or bone to let the steam out. Crimp the edges with a fork and then lightly brush the whole thing with the rest of the egg to make it all glossy and brown. 

Shove it lovingly in the oven at 200°c for 30 to 40 minutes and once the top is golden and, you know, it looks cooked, serve it up with mashed potato and fresh peas. And make sure to delete all the good photos of it off your iPhone as you never thought you’d get round to blogging it and then have to use the same one twice, or it just doesn’t taste quite right. 

Beef and Guinness Pie

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4 Responses to “Beef and Guinness Pie”

  1. Marcheline January 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    Egads, it’s only 7:30AM and I could SO throw some of this down right now… looks amazing!

    • Sarah Duggers January 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

      Thank you! I was pretty impressed with myself. Once I’d hacked off the burnt bits.

  2. victoriaranne January 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Looks VERY tasty,in spite of my upset tum all night (again) ! Love your recipes

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pastry Fail | sarahduggers - April 4, 2014

    […] tastes or something you thought would be too complicated – like profiteroles or  bone marrow pie funnels for instance – is hugely important, and no one should be worried about having to knock […]

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