Recipe Overhaul: Steak and Guinness Pie

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The original inspiration for this recipe was in Jamie Oliver’s Jamie At Home, but I’ve changed this around so much that it’s barely recognizable as the original. Steak and Guinness pie is a fairly traditional Irish thing, but Oliver gave it his tweaks, and then I gave it mine, so it’s fairly original now. Be warned of 2 things: one, this makes enough food for an army, and two, it takes hours to make. If you’re working a 9 to 5, this is weekend food, without question.

The picture sucks, because by the time it was done, the apartment had smelled so delicious for almost two hours that I didn’t even think to get a pic until I went back for seconds. I’ll get a better one next time, but meanwhile, if you like a rich, hearty beef dish that’s perfect for the cooling weather, you’ve GOT to try this. Don’t let the amount of stout in it worry you, because the alcohol cooks out. Also, don’t be intimidated by making your own crust–there’s a reason “easy as pie” is a thing, and you could easily take this crust, add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, and use it for sweet pies–the version with sugar is the same one I use for my apple galette. If you really wanted to, you could do what Oliver did, skip the cheese on the crust and use a packaged puff pastry instead of pie crust, but that takes longer to bake, and I like the pie crust better. (Also less expensive.)

Steak and Guinness Pie with Cheddar Cheese
taken from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie At Home with significant changes

Crust:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut in cubes and chilled
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
6-8 tablespoons ice water

Filling:

2-3 small onions, roughly chopped
3 carrots, cut about 1 inch thick
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, roughly chopped
2 1/2 pounds beef shoulder blade roast, cut in 1-1 1/2 inch chunks
1 package (8 ounces) sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 bottle (22 ounces) Guinness Extra Stout
3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped
3-4 tablespoons flour

1 (8 ounce) block extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
1 large egg, beaten

Using a pastry blender or a food processor, combine the butter, shortening, flour, and salt until the resulting mix has the texture of coarse crumbs. (I made Dale do this part!) Then slowly add the ice water until it just barely holds together, being careful not to overwork it. Shape the dough into a rough disc and refrigerate while you’re working on the filling.

In a Dutch oven or good-sized pasta pot, pour enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom, and heat over medium. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or so, then add the garlic and carrots and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly to keep the onions from burning. Add the meat and saute until the meat is browned all over, then add the potatoes, mushrooms, and thyme. Pour the Guinness over the top SLOWLY, because stouts foam like sodas if you pour them too quickly. Add the flour and enough water to cover. Stir well, season with salt and pepper, and put a lid on the pot. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 60-80 minutes, then check it for consistency. The liquid should be slightly thickened, and the meat and vegetables should be tender. If it needs a little longer, you can let it simmer uncovered while you’re prepping the crust.

So remember that pie crust you had sitting in the fridge? You’re going to flour your surface and your rolling pin pretty generously, because pie crust sticks like a mofo if you’re not careful, and roll that out in a rectangle about 1/4 of an inch thick.

Stir about 2/3 of the cheese into the filling, then pour the filling into a 13x9x2 inch pan. Lay the crust over the top, crimp it around the edges of the pan as best you can (it’s not going to be perfect without a bottom crust to stick to), and trim off the excess. Brush the top with the beaten egg, cut a couple of slits in the crust for the steam to escape so it won’t come out soggy, and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Put the pan on a cookie sheet lined with foil, because it will probably bubble over. Bake at 350 until your crust is lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving so that your filling sets up a bit.

Dale and I are both  big eaters, and I vastly underestimated how long this would take to cook, so it had been what, seven, eight hours since we’d eaten anything? We both had seconds, and there’s still well over half the pie left. Next time I make this, I’m inviting friends to share it with us, because that’s a LOT of food.

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