Beef and Guinness pie

We’re a fan of pies in any shape, size or format. More specifically a top-crust pie, this pie has only a lid, rather than encasing the entire filling. Personally, I like this pie-to-filling ratio, especially when there’s room for more filling.

I usually opt for puff pastry (shop-bought obv’) but there’s something butch and countryside-esque about beef and Guinness that it needs to be covered by a pastry that’s just as hardy. I’ve uncharacteristically refrained from adding any herbs in this dish too as I want it to be simple; minimal effort with maximum impact.

Depending on the size of your tin(s), there should be leftover pastry for pretty patterns of your choice.

Served with chips (check mine out here), this will see you right after a day of lumberjacking.

Serves 2

400g braising beef
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 large carrots, sliced and diced
1 large white onion
2 beef stock cubes
1 tin of Guinness (440ml)
A knob of butter
320g shop-bought shortcrust pastry
1 egg

  1. Gently brown off the beef in a large saucepan for around 4 minutes. Cover with the flour before adding the carrots and onion
  2. Continue to fry for around 4 minutes on a low heat before crumbling over the beef stock cubes, and mixing in
  3. Empty the entire Guinness tin into the pan and bring to the boil before reducing to a very low simmer. Put a lid on and leave for 2 and a half hours
  4. After this time, add the butter and then taste for seasoning – add seasoning accordingly
  5. Pour the mix into two individual tins and leave to cool for 30 minutes. At the same time, take the pastry out of the fridge to soften slightly
  6. Unpack and unroll the pastry and cut in half before draping each half over the tins. Cut away any excess before crimping the edges. Adorn with pretty shapes to your liking, and cut an ‘X’ in the middle of the pie (to allow the steam to come out)
  7. Briefly whisk the egg before brushing over the top and putting in a preheated oven at 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6
  8. After about 20-25 minutes, the pie should be nicely browned on top and ready to serve with tasty chips!

Top tips

  • Be sure to let the mix to cool slightly before topping off with the pastry. If it was still hot, the pastry will get all steamed up and turn into a mess if you’re not careful. Letting it cool avoids this and allows you to have that bit extra time to faff with crimping and shapes. For this reason, you can easily make the filling well in advance
  • Don’t attempt to remove the pie from the tin when serving – just serve it right there in the tin so make sure it’s one you’re happy to serve on a plate. For this reason, it’s better to have these made individually rather than a large pie that’s halved
  • I make no apology for the odd gravy seep through the edges of the pie crust – these bits taste so good when they catch in the oven! However, be sure to put the tins on top of a baking tray when baking so that any overflow is managed.

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