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 flavor of the Guinness to permeate the meat and the vegetables and produce a thick, luscious sauce.
- For the Pastry:
- 7 ounces (200 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 ounces (110 grams) butter (cubed; or an equal mix of butter and lard)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water (very cold)
- For the Pie:
- 1 ounce (25 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste; divided)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste; divided)
- 2 pounds (900 grams) chuck steak (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 ounce (25 grams) butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 large onions (thinly sliced)
- 2 carrots (chopped to 1-inch cubes)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons tomato puree
- 2 1/8 cups (500 milliliters) Guinness (or other stout beer)
- 1 1/4 cups (300 milliliters) beef stock (hot)
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons water (for brushing)
- 1 egg (beaten; for egg wash)
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this pie is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and assembly.
Make the Pastry
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, add the flour, salt, and butter.
With your fingers or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until it is the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Work as quickly as possible to avoid warming the dough.
Add 2 tablespoons of very cold water, stirring it into the dough using a cold knife until it binds together and can be formed into a ball. If it becomes too dry, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time.
Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes.
Make the Beef and Guinness Pie
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, place the flour and it season with salt and ground black pepper.
Add the cubes of meat and toss well in the flour until evenly coated.
In a large, heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish, heat the butter and oil 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.
Return the meat to the pan, and add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, Guinness, hot beef 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 2 1/2-pint (1 1/2-liter) deep pie dish, and leave to cool completely.
Heat the oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6). Roll out the pastry to 1/8-inch (3-millimeter) thick. Cut a 3/4-inch (2-centimeter) 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 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) larger than the pie dish.
Place a pie funnel (also called a pie bird) 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 and crimp the edges with a fork or between your thumb and forefinger.
Brush the top with the beaten egg and make a hole in the center to reveal the pie funnel. You can also decorate the top of the pie with pastry trimmings as you like.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Reprinted with permission from Angela Boggiano's cookbook Pie.
- Since the pastry requires a maximum of 30 minutes to chill and the pie filling requires 2 hours to cook, start preparing the pastry when the filling is almost done or while it cools down.
- If you prefer, the shortcrust pastry can be mixed using a food processor.