I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Beef & Guinness Stew Pie

This pub-style stew pie is great with (garlic) mashed potatoes.
Makes 1 - 10 inch pie OR 1 - 9 inch deep pie
You can double the recipe and freeze one pie for later.

1 1/2 lbs (about 700 g) braising beef cut to small cubes
(I used blade roast, tried bourguignon beef once but that did not turn out  as well)
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 a large onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
3/4 to 1 full can Guinness beer
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Shortcrust pastry
Phyllo or puff pastry
(You'll see pictures of all variations here)

Preheat oven to 350F.  

Toss beef with 1 tbsp flour.  Heat heavy pan until very hot, then add 2 tbsps of oil and cook beef until outside is dark and caramelized. Set the seared beef aside. 

Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, onions and carrots.  Sauté 2 minutes, then add garlic, bay leaves, thyme and remaining 1 tbsp flour. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute.

Return beef to pan and pour in Guinness, beef stock and worcestershire sauce.  (Keep about 1/4 of the Guinness aside to add to stew if it seems to need it later).

Bring to a boil.  Place in oven covered with foil, but not tightly. Leave a couple of sides loose. Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Check after about 1 hour as gravy will reduce.  Add the remaining Guinness (you didn't drink it did you?) if it looks like it might burn. If you drank the Guinness already you can add 1/4 cup of water  : )

When cooked, add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Use any shortcrust pastry you like for the bottom. Line pan and leave a slight overhang.  Preheat oven to 400F then blind bake for 5-10 minutes.

Now you can fill the shell with the stew. Brush the rim with either milk or whisked egg. Place a circle of puff pastry, shortcrust or phyllo on top and press the edges down. 

I have used this recipe for puff pastry from Canadian Living in the past and it's very good. http://www.canadianliving.com/food/quick_puff_pastry.php 

But in this picture I tried using store bought phyllo pastry. 

I laid one sheet over pie and folded the corners on top.  Then sprayed with cooking oil (Pam) and continued until I used 5 or 6 sheets of phyllo.
Brush the top with milk or egg wash and pop it in the oven for 25 minutes.

Of course you could use regular pastry for the top crust but....phyllo is so pretty : )

This is what the puff pastry version looks like.

And here's a variation. Short crust and heart cut-outs for Valentine's Day.
I hope this isn't too confusing to follow as I wanted to include some pics from all the different pastry variations.

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