Guinness stew is an amazing meal on its own, but when transformed into a pie it becomes truly incredible. The combo of rich, meaty stew laced into a flaky, buttery crust is hard to resist. Like all hearty, slow cooked meals this is ideally made and served on a cold or rainy day. The best part? Getting those amazing smells of meat, veggies and rich broth wafting from the kitchen all afternoon. Your taste buds will go mad!
Before you get started making this dish, know that it will take a good chunk of your day. This is not a "set and forget" slow cooker meal, instead it sits on your stove top for 4 hours simmering away. I have tried making the stew in the slow cooker, but found the end result to be thin and watery. Therefore I highly recommend you take an afternoon at home to create this meal, you will not regret it.
Guinness pie is a two step process - first create the filling (ie beef stew), then stuff it inside a puff pastry crust. You will see that I used store bought puff pastry, you can certainly go all out and make your own but that is a step too far for me. Here are two recipes for making homemade puff pastry if you are interested - Bigger Bolder Baking's shortcut version or kitchn's from scratch recipe.
- Read all instructions before starting. While you only need one pot for the stew, you are constantly moving things in and out so having all your ingredients prepped and ready will make a big difference.
- Use a dutch oven! A nonstick pan will not spread/maintain the heat as well, and also will do a sub par job in searing your meat.
- Make sure to coat and sear your beef . This not only seals in the juices, but also caramelizes the meat, adding to the richness of your stew.
- Be patient when cooking the pie - do not be tempted to turn the oven up, even to a few degrees. By cooking low and slow, you are allowing the puff pastry will cook evenly. If the oven is turned up the pie may seem done as it will have a lovely, brown crust but the bottom will be raw and soggy.
Beef and Guinness Pie
- 4 slices peppered bacon
- 3 lbs beef chuck
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 yellow onions
- 4 cloves garlic
- 10oz mushrooms,
- 4 medium sized carrots
- 3 tbl tomato paste
- 12 oz Guinness
- 2 c. beef broth
- 1 tbl fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 c. peas (optional)
- I pkg frozen pastry puff
- 1 egg + 1 tsp water (eggwash)
- Step 1 First, prep your beef for browning by trimming the fat and cutting into cubes, around 2" each (no need to be exact). Place in a large ziplock bag with your flour, salt and pepper and shake until the meat is well coated. Set aside.
- Step 2 Second, prep your vegetables. Dice your onions and mince your garlic. Cut your mushrooms into large chunks - either in half or quarters, depending on the size of the 'shroom. Peel and roughly chop your carrots, again keeping them chunky. This is a rustic meal, you want something to sink your teeth into when eating!
- Step 3 Cut your bacon into strips and fry in a dutch oven on medium-high heat until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside, keeping the bacon fat in the pan.
- Step 4 With the heat still on medium-high, brown your meat in the leftover bacon fat on all sides. Be careful not to crowd the pan, it will take 2 to 3 rounds to get all the meat seared. There should be enough fat leftover from the bacon, but if your pan starts drying up add in a tbl of butter. Set your brown meat aside by the bacon.
- Step 5 Reduce the heat to medium and saute your onions, garlic, mushrooms and carrots in the same pan, about 4-5 minutes, or until the onions turn translucent. By now your dutch oven should have crusty bits stuck to the bottom - don't be afraid of this! It is flavour.
- Step 6 Now it is time for the beer. Pour your Guinness into your sauted vegetable mix and deglaze the pan. Make sure to stir and get those browned bits into the sauce.
- Step 7 Reduce your heat to low and place your bacon and beef back into the stew. Add in the tomato paste, beef broth, thyme and bay leaf and give everything a good stir.
- Step 8 Cover your stew and cook on low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally (once or twice an hour). Uncover and cook for an additional 2 hours. After 4 hours of cooking your stew should be thick and the meat tender. If you wish you add in peas, do so now. Then,remove the bay leaf and allow to cool.
- Step 9 While the stew is cooling, remove your pastry puff from the freezer to thaw. Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Step 10 Once thawed, roll into two sheets - one enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 12" pie dish, and the second to cover the top.
- Step 11 Grease and flour your pie dish and line with your rolled out pastry puff. Generously fill with your cooled Guinness stew and top with the remaining puff pastry sheet. Seal in the edges and brush with eggwash.
- Step 12 Place your pie in the middle shelf of the oven for 45min - 1hr. You will know it is done with the pastry has puffed and is golden brown. Remove and cool for 5-10 min before serving.