Beef and Guinness Pie brings together Irish beef and Guinness, two of Ireland's most famous products. The long-slow cooking of the filling creates not just perfectly tender beef, it also allows the flavour of the Guinness to permeate the meat and the vegetables and produce a thick, luscious sauce. This is truly hearty and hale food.
- For the Pastry:
- 7 ounces/200 grams flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 ounces/110 grams butter, cubed or an equal mix of butter and lard
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water (cold)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- For the Filling:
- 1 ounce/25 grams flour
- 2 pounds/900 grams chuck steak (cut into 1"/2.5cm cubes)
- 1 ounce/25 grams butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 large onions (thinly sliced)
- 2 carrots (chopped to 1" cubes)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons tomato puree
- 500 milliliters Guinness (or stout)
- 300 milliliters beef stock (hot)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Make the pastry following these instructions:
Place the flour in a large bowl and season with salt and ground black pepper, add the cubes of meat and toss well in the flour until evenly coated.
Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish until the butter has melted. Add the meat to the fat in small batches and brown quickly all over for just a minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onions and carrots to the pan and fry gently for about 2 minutes then return the meat to the pan with the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, ale stock and sugar. Grind in plenty of black pepper and a little salt, stir well and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook slowly for about 2 hours until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened and is glossy. Remove from the heat, place into a 2½ pint/1.5 liter deep pie dish and leave to cool completely.
Heat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.
Roll out the pastry to 1/8"/3mm. Cut a ¾"/2cm strip from the rolled-out pastry. Brush the rim of the pie dish with water and place the pastry strip around the rim, pressing it down. Cut out the remaining pastry about 1"/2.5cm larger than the dish. Sit a pie funnel in the center of the filling; it will support the pastry and stop it from sinking into the filling and becoming soggy.
Place the pastry lid over the top and press down to the edge and seal. trim off any excess pastry an crimp the edges with a fork or between your thumb and forefinger. Brush the top with beaten egg and make a hole in the center to reveal the pie funnel. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Optional - You can decorate the top of the pie with pastry trimmings as you like.