And you thought Guinness, the heavenly gift from Ireland, was just for drinking, shampooing, brushing your teeth, and gargling. As the Irish say, fook no. You gotta keep some spare cans in your kitchen. Tuck a couple of cans away where your thirsty wife won’t find ‘em. I’m about to give you just one reason why. Guinness Beef Pie.
But, first I have to let you in on a secret. Yes, I know I’ve blogged about going to the Guinness Brewery at St. James Gate, Dublin, and told you most of what you need to know about this Irish legend.
But, in my haste, I left out the part about crowd-pleasing cooking. I’m going to rectify that omission, right after I give you a hint about using Guinness for either cooking, or drinking: buy Guinness in a can. It’s marked ‘draft’ and that’s not just an expression. Normally, if I can’t get real draft, I go for a bottle, but in the case of Guinness, I make a rare exception. The Guinness cans contain an agitation ball and when the can is opened and poured, the brew is aerated automatically, giving you very, very close to a true draft taste. Ok, now that you’re enlightened, let’s move on to the long anticipated, lip smacking recipe.
Guinness Beef Pie
2 ½ pounds (approx.) beef chuck roast, most fat removed and the beef cut into spoon-sized cubes.
2 tablespoons oil
4 ribs celery, diced (I use the leaves as well)
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1-2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon
1 can Guinness (14.9 Fl. oz., Draft)
2 heaping tablespoons undiluted beef broth (not granulated or normal strength. I always use Bovril)
3 tablespoons butter, mashed together with 3 tablespoons of flour for thickener
1 sheet of packaged, frozen puff pastry crust, thawed
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper to taste
Salt and pepper the beef. Put the oil in a large pot, or Dutch oven and turn heat to medium high. When the oil is hot, add the beef chunks and stir to barely brown. Don’t worry that the meat is only partially cooked. It’ll get a lengthy cooking very soon. Don’t pour off the extra liquid from the cooked meat.
When the beef is barely browned, add all the vegetables/garlic and stir. Add the can of Guinness and the undiluted beef broth. Add the cinnamon. When the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer. Partially cover and let the mixture cook until the meat is tender, about an hour.
When the meat is tender, add the flour/butter mixture and stir. Cook another 5 minutes or so until the gravy thickens, and also to cook away any raw flour flavor.
Meanwhile, let the sheet of puff pastry thaw.
Heat the oven to 350ºF, or 180º C.
Pour the pie
Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is light, golden brown.
You’ve deprived yourself long enough. Pop the top on another Guinness and let’s discuss your favorite Irish writers. On the other hand, we can concentrate on drinking and eating and just say ‘fook it.’