This recipe warms our hearts and our bellies. It is the perfect little pot of dinner. Pour some red and follow Denise’s instructions – both for cooking and for dining fireside. I plan to. And, I’d love to hear what else you are making that will warm you up this winter. -Maggie
I have been anticipating our first rain fall of the season for a few months now. It’s strange for me to say this, since our summer was relatively short, but honestly, I just could not wait for cuddle weather. I’ve had visions of wrapping myself in a blanket, sipping a robust glass of wine, enjoying a book, and of course, baking. To be more precise, baking meaty pies. Don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more then a slice of hot apple pie. But, my wintry visions include deep dishes of meat, earthy vegetables and rich stock based sauces, lightly cradled in buttery crusts.
This particular recipe was inspired by an article I read in a Donna Hay magazine last year. What I love about her recipes is the use of fresh and seasonal ingredients and that the steps are easy enough for any level of home chef.
I took Donna’s recipe to the next level by making it all about the meat and the sauce. Instead of lightly cooking the meat before baking into pies, I braised pieces of grass-fed beef with a luscious stock and Guinness beer for a few hours. It is the perfect accompaniment to a rainy weekend.
After braising the meat until buttery tender, I stirred in thick pieces of mushrooms then cradled the hearty mixture in baking dishes with a blanket of pillowy puff pastry. There is no need for any other veggies such as peas, carrots or celery – this hearty stew is perfect on its own. It is rich in flavor and texture, and perfect for a cold evening dining next to a blazing fire.
Beef and Guinness Pies
Makes: 4 generous pies
- 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 2 cups Guinness beer
- 4 tablespoons ap flour
- 1 lb. mushrooms, cut into thick slices
- store bought puff pastry
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 300.
- In a large dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat. If the pieces of meat are rather large cut them into smaller pieces. Add the meat to the hot dutch oven, lightly season with salt and pepper, then brown the meat for 5 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, thyme, flour and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the stock and beer. Stir.
- Slide into the preheated oven and let braise for 3 hours or until the meat is very tender. I check on the liquid, every 60 minutes and add a bit more stock if needed. Once the 3 hours is up, stir in the mushrooms and continue braising for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Roll out the puff pastry and cut into four equal pieces.
- Divide the meat mixture between 4 deep dishes that are oven proof. Lightly drape the puff pastry over the tops of each dish.
- Mix the egg with a splash of cold water. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the puff pastry.
- Place the dishes on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 20 - 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve. Eat.
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