I’m finding it just a touch difficult to move on from winter food at the moment.
I know that spring is here and fresh, crunchy salads are waiting around the corner, but I’m not ready to surrender gravy just yet. I want a few more weeks to wallow in comfort food and this pie is the king of comfort food.
With the build of Center Parcs Longford Forest in Ireland well under way, it was only right to come up with a recipe that’s a nod to the great snake-chaser himself, Saint Patrick. With its rich stew filling bolstered with Guinness, this pie is as Irish as they come.
What are your thoughts on pie crust etiquette? Personally, I feel short-changed by a ‘pie’ without a bottom. To me, a bottomless pie is a casserole with a lid. This is a pie – a fully sliceable pie with bags of flavour and plenty of flaky pastry. I’ve even added a pastry shamrock for extra festivity.
Tip: You can just about squeeze this recipe out of one packet of puff pastry, but I always have two to hand. It makes it a bit easier and you can use all your trimmings to make little sweet cinnamon sugar pastries.
750g beef stewing steak in large chunks
3 tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
2 red onions, sliced
1 beef stock cube/melt in 500ml boiling water
330ml bottle of Guinness
Sprig of rosemary
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 or 2 blocks of puff pastry
1 beaten egg for glazing
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C
2 In a large bowl, mix the flour with plenty of salt and pepper. Toss the meat in the flour to lightly coat
3 Heat a frying pan with a glug of oil over a high heat, fry the meat until browned then tip into a casserole dish
4 Add the onions, carrots, Guinness, stock, rosemary and sauces
5 Cover and cook for 2-2.5 hours, adding more liquid (Guinness, stock or water – whatever you have to hand) if it looks too dry. Leave it to cool while you prepare the pastry
6 Roll out half the pastry to slightly larger than your pie tin, lay it across the tin and line with baking paper. Fill it with baking beans or rice
7 Bake for 10 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes
8 Press the pastry down with the back of a spoon if it has puffed up in the middle
9 Brush the rim of the pie with egg wash
10 Fish out your rosemary and discard, then add your pie filling to the case
11 Roll out another circle of pastry, slightly larger than your pie tin, and place it on top of your pie. Press it down around the edges to create a nice seal then brush the whole top with beaten egg
12 Top with a shape made of your spare pastry, if you fancy
13 Bake for 35-40 minutes until your pie is a beautiful golden brown.