Beef and Guinness pie

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Beef and Guiness pie
This beef and Guiness pie is a great bit of comfort food, and is sure to be a real treat for your tastebuds.
This beef and Guiness pie is a versatile dish too with the main ingredients – the beef and ale – giving a wide variety of options, most of which work just fine.
There are several cuts of beef you can choose from; depending on budget and whats available – but providing the beef marbled with fat and of a good quality you should be fine. The long cooking time will still ensure the meat becomes tender. You could even use beef steaks, but be sure to cut them into 2.5cm/1in cubes.
The fats in well marbled piece of beef will melt and soften the meat as it cooks, it's wise to avoid using beef with large amounts of fat on it though, as that most likely wont break down enough and will become unpleasantly chewy.
When it comes to the ale, almost anything will do, but Guinness is a favourite and one of the most commonly used. If not Guinness look for a good quality stout ale, its flavour will impart the beef during the long cooking process and thats what gives the pie its interest. Better still if you use an ale you enjoy, you can drink the unused remainder whilst you are cooking!
For the beef and Guinness pie topping, I use a ready made puff pastry from the chilled/frozen isle of the supermarket. You can make it yourself but I find it doesn't make much difference and it's much easier to just buy this and keep it in the freezer for when you need it! Just make sure the pastry is defrosted first, so take it out of the freezer an hour beforehand.
If you don't have enough time you can simmer the mixture for less time and at a higher heat – but try to avoid this, as the delight of this beef and Guinness pie recipe is to slow cook the beef for a long time so it becomes so it melts in your mouth.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Servings 4

Ingredients  

  • 600 g diced beef casserole steak
  • 350 ml Guinness (or other ale)
  • 300 ml water
  • 250 g puff pastry (ready-made)
  • 125 g  mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • 50 ml milk (or 1 beaten egg yolk to glaze the pastry)
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 4 tbsp plain white flour
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions 

  • Chop the onions and garlic cloves and place them in a pan with some oil and cook until the onions soften.
  • In a dish add a few tablespoons of plain flour and coat the diced beef. This will help seal the beef and thicken the gravy.
  • Add the beef to the pan and brown the meat.
  • Dissolve a beef stock cube in 200ml of boiling water and add to the pan, along with; 350ml of the ale, the bay leaf, mushrooms (If using). Season with a pinch of salt, and some black pepper.
  • Bring this mixture to the boil then simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking to the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.
  • Carefully empty the mixture from the pan into a pie dish – take care to remove the bay leaf as it doesn't taste very appetising!
  • Place the pie dish in the oven, cover, and let it simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally. If you prefer you can leave the mixture in a covered pan to simmer on the hob for the same time.
  • Flour your board/worktop to stop the pastry from sticking, then use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry into an even height and is shaped a little larger than your pie dish.
  • Remove the pie dish from the oven, turn the oven up to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
  • Place the puff pastry on top of the open pie dish gently, press the edges down and return the pie dish to the oven for 25 minutes – or until the pastry has risen and is golden brown.
  • Remove the pie dish from the oven, and let it cool for a 5 minutes before dividing in to portions and plating up.
The early pies were predominately meat pies. Pyes (pies) originally appeared in England as early as the twelfth century.
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