It’s been a while since I’ve cooked beef – and a recent trip to Sydney made me crave a good meat pie (I managed to squeeze in a Pie Face meat pie at the airport before I flew out teehee). My supermarket had some lovely looking chuck steak, so it’s beef and Guinness pie for dinner tonight.
This dish is really very easy, but you need to make sure you have ample time to slowly braise the beef in the Guinness so that a) all the meat fibres break down, giving you you meltingly tender beef and b) so the flavour of the Guinness can really get into the meat. From start to finish, you probably need 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
Ingredients (for two)
- 250g chuck steak – cut into 1 inch cubes
- handful mushrooms – cut into 1 inch cubes
- 6 shallot onions – whole
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/8 cup tomato sauce (or just a good squeeze to taste)
- 1 can Guinness
- Puff pastry sheets
- Mix the flour, salt and pepper together
- Lightly coat the cubes of beef in the seasoned flour and fry in batches with the oil over high head in a heavy-based pot. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan – you want to seal and brown the meat, not boil it.
- Once all the beef has been browned, set aside, and using the same pot, gently sweat the onions over low heat for about 5 minutes. Scrape all the yummy bits left in the bottom of the pot from the beef. They will add flavour and colour to the stew.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes
- Add the beef, bay leaves and tomato sauce and pour in enough Guinness so that it just covers the meat.
- Cover and bring to the boil then lower the temperature so it’s barely simmering, and cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Peek in halfway through and taste it for seasoning. Add to taste if you fancy, but remember the flour was already seasoned.
- Once the beef stew has cooked it should have reduced down to a nice thick gravy and you can either simply put one sheet of pastry over the pot or portion out the beef stew into single portion oven-safe bowls eg ramekins or Corningware and then cover each individually with puff pastry.
- Brush the edges of whatever dish you are baking in with beaten egg yolk and seal the edges of the pastry with a fork. Brush the top with the rest of the egg.
- Slash a few cuts into the pastry lid to allow the steam to escape or you might end up with soggy pastry
- Pop into a preheated oven at 200C for 10 – 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown
- Serve with buttered peas and corn