Steak and Guinness Pie

A few weeks ago, the boyf and I made our second weekend trip ever to Dublin. The first time, we got a Groupon to stay in a village called Leixlip, which is very quaint and about 20mins outside the city centre. We discovered when we were there that Leixlip is the hometown of Arthur Guinness, who, everyone knows, created the delicious beverage and gave it his name.

Now, I have a confession to make; I never liked Guinness. This might make me a bad Irishwoman, but there you have it. I like my beer girly and golden, preferably Spanish and with a wedge of lime stuck in the top of the bottle to make every sip zesty-fresh. So when, during our more recent second trip to Dublin, I suggested to the boyf that we visit the Guinness storehouse, he (and a small part of myself) thought I had taken leave of my senses.

“You do realise that all you do is learn about and drink Guinness when you go there?” he said to me, a look of confused incredulity on his face.

“Yes, but you can have my pint,” I said blithely, and off we trotted, happy in our touristy cliché.

To cut a long story short, I now LOVE Guinness, and feel justified, after four hours wandering awed-ly around the storehouse and quaffing several pints, in proclaiming that the boyf and I are now Guinness connoisseurs.

When we got back, I decided to incorporate my new favourite tipple into my cuisine. And so, just a little late for St Patrick’s Day, but nevertheless excellent, my post today is another savoury one, and the first of a few Guinness-inspired recipes.

Steak and Guinness Pie

(serves four)

For the pastry

  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g cold butter
  • pinch salt
  • 4-5tbsp cold water

For the filling

  • 500g diced beef or stewing steak
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can Guinness (I used draught, but feel free to use extra stout for a more punchy flavour)
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • water

You will also need a 24cm pie dish; I used this one.

1. Start off by chopping the onions and frying them in butter, in a casserole over medium heat. While they’re cooking, dust the steak with flour and shake off any excess. When the onions are soft and transparent, add the steak and brown all over.

2. Next, add the garlic and carrots and sauté for a minute or so. Pour in the Guinness (yes, the whole can!), crumble in the stock cube and add the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring it to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes, until the carrots are soft and the steak is cooked through and tender. Add a few drops of water to the cornflour, enough to dissolve it and create a smooth mix, then pour into the filling and simmer for another 5mins, until the gravy is rich and thick. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. While the filling is cooling, make your pastry. Dice the butter and combine it with the flour and salt in a food processor. Blitz until you have a sandy mixture, then, with the processor still running, slowly add your water until the pastry begins to come together. Remove and work into a ball with your hands, then divide in half.

4. Now, preheat the oven to 180⁰C. Flour your work surface and roll out each half of the pastry until about 3mm thick, then line your pie dish with one half and trim the excess. Brush the pastry with beaten egg (this stops a soggy bottom – thanks, Mary Berry!), then add your steak-and-Guinness filling. Brush the edge of your pastry with egg, then top with the other half. Press the top and bottom edges of the pastry together, then trim the excess. You can use a fork to press the edges together more thoroughly and leave a pretty pattern!

5. Brush the top with egg and slice a hole (or few) into the top to allow steam to escape. You can use any excess pastry to create pretty decorations for the top – just remember to brush them with egg after! Pop your beautiful pie in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-40mins, until the pastry is golden brown and the filling piping hot. Serve with mash and peas, and – of course – a pint of the black stuff to wash it down!

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