Here’s a lovely dish for Saint Patrick’s Day and Irish Soda Bread would make a classic accompaniment…perhaps spread with a bit of Kerrygold butter? For dessert, some Chocolate-Guinness Brownies will continue the theme of rich dark flavors—just replace the water in the recipe with Guinness.
Beef and Guinness Pie
For the Filling/Stew
1 ounce (a bit more than 3 T.) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste; divided)
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper (to taste; divided)
2 pounds grass fed chuck steak (cut into 1-inch cubes)
4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Kerrygold butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 organic onions (thinly sliced)
2 organic carrots (chopped to 1-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 14.9-ounce can Guinness stout
1 cup organic beef stock (hot)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 egg (beaten; for egg wash)
For the Pastry
(Quick Alternative: use thawed puff pastry)
7-ounces all-purpose flour, chilled
1 pinch sea salt
4-ounces Kerrygold butter, chilled and cubed
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
Note: Since the pastry requires a maximum of 30 minutes to chill, and the stew requires 2 hours to cook, start preparing the pastry when the stew is almost done or while it cools down. Also, chill all pastry ingredients, bowl and utensils now.
MAKE THE FILLING/STEW
Add the flour to a large bowl and season it with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Add the cubes of meat and toss well until evenly coated with the seasoned flour.
In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon until the fat has rendered but before it becomes crispy. Add the butter and oil until the butter has melted. Add the meat to the fat in small batches and brown quickly for just a minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onions and carrots to the pan and sauté gently for about 2 minutes.
Return the meat to the pan, and add Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, tomato puree, Guinness, hot beef stock, and brown 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. Taste for salt and pepper and add more, if needed.
Remove the stew from the heat, place into a 1-1/2-liter deep pie or soufflé dish, and leave to cool completely.
MAKE THE PASTRY
In a large chilled bowl, add the chilled 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 ice water, stirring it into the dough using a cold fork until it binds together and can be formed into a ball. If it becomes too dry, add more ice 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.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE THE PIE
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pastry to 1/8-inch thick. Cut a 3/4-inch-wide 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 the remaining pastry about 1-inch 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. (Alternative: roll some aluminum foil into a sturdy tube about 4 inches tall)
Place the pastry lid over the top of the dish and trim off any excess. Using a fork, press and crimp the edges to seal.
Brush the top of the pastry with beaten egg and cut an X-shaped hole in the center to reveal the pie funnel.
You can also decorate the top of the pie with pastry, using the leftover pastry trimmings. A quick way to do this is to roll the trimmings into a ball. Roll out the pastry to 1/8-inch thick. Cut the pastry into a circle using a glass or biscuit cutter. Cut the circle into quarters and place each quarter around the funnel with the pointed ends facing outwards.
Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
To serve, cut the pastry topping into quarters, set aside, scoop filling into wide soup bowls, and place a piece of pastry back on top.