This recipe originates from County Tipperary, Ireland (according to SAVEUR’S, Food for the Holidays issue – Winter, 2004.) A hearty Snow/Rainy-day-comfort-food entrée, this savory beef-pie will beckon you back to the fridge at 1:00 AM, and again at breakfast time. Purchase, at least, two 6-packs of Guinness Stout for 6-8 guests.
Start early – allow 5-6 hours, from start to serving. Thaw pastry 1/2 hour before meat-mixture is done.
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 1/2 cups beef stock
4 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1″ cubes
1 1/2 lbs. white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1 large yellow onion, peeled, sliced and quartered
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 cups Guinness Stout
1 1/2 cups flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 lb. frozen puff pastry, thawed
1) Preheat oven to 325′. Put tomato paste into a large bowl, add stock and stir until paste dissolves. Add beef, *mushrooms, onions, garlic, thyme and stout, and stir well. Sprinkle flour over beef mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir well. Transfer to a deep 10 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ baking dish set on a large baking sheet. Cover dish with foil. Bake, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender, 3 1/2 – 4 hours.
(One-half hour before pie has finished cooking, thaw puff pastry.)
2) Beat egg and 1 tsp. water together in a small bowl and set aside. Roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a *1/4″ thickness, 2″ wider than baking dish. Remove baking dish (fully cooked pie) from oven and uncover. Drape pastry over dish and brush with egg wash. Return baking dish to oven and bake until pastry is puffed and deep golden brown, about 40 minutes. Garnish with spearmint sprigs, if you like.
[I prefer 4-leaf clovers if I can find them – LVBC].
*Hints and suggestions: (a) If mushrooms are small (quarter-size) just halve them. If they are half-dollar size, quartering them is fine – small bits of mushroom disappear after 4 hours of cooking. (b) I prefer a pastry thickness of 1/8″ [LVBC] (c) Guinness draft can be substituted for the stout, for a slightly milder version. (d) Let the pie cool down before serving – 20 minutes. (g) For two to four people, use a round 8″ x 4″ deep baking dish and halve the recipe.
Serve with a glass of the Guinness or a solid Red wine.