Beef and Guinness Pie

Beef and Guinness Pie Recipe

It was an unassuming, lazy Sunday in November. The One and I couldn’t think of what to make for dinner, so I browsed through the site and tossed out some suggestions. The One was all over this beef and Guinness pie. Which is odd, because we’re not big beer drinkers—especially not Guinness. The One is partial to wine, and I like my cocktails clear, thank you very much (think gin or vodka). Nonetheless, we descended upon the kitchen full throttle. After some searing, stirring, and stewing, the filling was ready to go into an old-fashioned 2-quart casserole. We covered it with a gorgeous sheet of Dufour’s Puff Pastry (the best commercial pastry out there, in my not-so-humble opinion), and slid the whole thing into the oven. What came out was the kind of pie you’d expect four and 20 blackbirds to come flying out of—proudly puff-chested and gorgeously golden. The true test was left to our friend and guest Danny, a take-no-prisoners type of Brit. She pronounced the beef and Guinness pie a huge success. That was good enough for me.–David Leite

LC Any Day ls Guinness Pie Day Note

Just as any day is worthy of a pint of Guinness, so is any day appropriate for Guinness pie. And, in the spirit of the traditional Irish toast that follows, we see no need to stop at just one pint–or plateful.

Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold pint–and another one!

Beef and Guinness Pie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 3 H
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds stewing beef, such as chuck, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 2 heaping teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade beef stock or store-bought beef broth
  • 3 cups (24 ounces) Guinness
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons A.1. Steak Sauce
  • Small handful each fresh rosemary, thyme, and flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 sheet good-quality puff pastry (preferably Dufour brand)
  • 1 large egg yolk mixed with a little milk

Directions

  • 1. Toss the meat in the flour to lightly coat.
  • 2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Working in batches, lightly brown the meat on all sides, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Drain on paper towels.
  • 3. Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the pan, along with the onion and garlic, and cook over medium heat until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrot and celery, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • 4. Return the meat to the pan, then add the stock or broth, Guinness, canned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, and chopped herbs and stir, using a wooden spoon to scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally and skimming any fat from the surface, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. [Editor’s Note: lf the braising liquid happens to be runnier than what you’d expect in a pot pie, take a look at the Testers Choice comments just beneath the recipe for some clever thickening tactics.]
  • 5. Spoon the stew into a 7-inch-diameter ovenproof pot. Let cool completely. (If you’d like a nice dome to your pot pie, and, hey, who doesn’t, consider adding the filling to a slightly smaller dish.)
  • 6. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
  • 7. Brush the outside edge of the pot or dish with water, then gently place the sheet of pastry over the stew, pinching the pastry against the edge of the pot or pie dish to seal. (lf you like, you can crimp the pastry to form a decorative edge.) Brush the pastry generously with the egg wash and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden brown. Serve piping hot.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Lydia Brimage

Mar 14, 2013

This beef and Guinness pie recipe was clear and worked well for me. I thought that when the pie filling was cooked it might need sweetening with sugar (as has previously happened when I cooked with Guinness), but I found the filling just needed a little seasoning with salt and pepper. This was presumably because the Guinness in this recipe is cooked for an hour, which is long enough to allow the bitterness to cook off. If the pie filling is a little too watery after cooking it, then some more flour can be added to thicken the sauce a little before putting the filling in the pie dish. I’d recommend using store-bought all-butter puff pastry [Dufour's is the brand we prefer--ed.], which has a good taste and is easy to use. I thought that the temperature of the oven was a little too high, as the pastry colored up very quickly—after about 25 minutes—but the pie filling wasn’t quite up to temperature so I’d suggest a slightly lower temperature and checking occasionally to ensure that the pastry isn’t burning.

Testers Choice
Steve Dunn

Mar 14, 2013

If you happen to be hunkered down during a blizzard anytime soon, reach for this beef and Guinness pie; it won’t disappoint. That’s what we did last night as we settled in for the “Blizzard of 2013″ here in the Northeast, and this dish kept us happy and warm as the storm raged outside. A quick taste at the beginning of the cooking time for the stew was less than impressive, but after an hour on the flame, the flavors had concentrated nicely. That said, I did find the stew still too thin for my liking even after the full hour of cooking, and so decided to add a cornstarch slurry (about 2 tablespoons’ worth), which thickened it nicely to a rich, glossy sheen. I used a mix of fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano in the pie and they blended beautifully with the sweet, malty flavor of the Guinness. I’d some A.1. on hand (which was actually a bit of a shock to me), so I used it as called for along with the Worcestershire, and they contributed to a great depth of flavor in the dish. The next time I make this I’ll look for a cut of beef with better marbling, as I found the meat a bit dry and tough when served. I used a very lean beef stew meat (all I could get at my local market), and would like this dish even more with a fattier, more tender cut of meat. In fact, though it’d be flying in the face of tradition, I bet this pie would be fabulous with cubed pork shoulder. I did encounter a bit of trouble with the puff pastry crust (bought premade at Trader Joes), because it didn’t rise AT ALL when baking. Not sure if it was due to altitude issues (we’re at our ski house in Vermont) or a problem with the pastry itself. The flavor of the crust was quite good, but it was a fairly dense barrier to the goodness underneath. I served the pie up with a crisp green salad and some simple Cheddar mashed potatoes to raves from around the table.

Testers Choice
Joan Osborne

Mar 14, 2013

This beef and Guinness pie recipe was delicious. The flavors were fantastic. I’ll definitely be making this one again. I only had one problem with this recipe: even after cooking for over an hour, the liquid didn’t get as thick as I like for a pot pie. Next time I’ll add a bit of cornstarch if it doesn’t get thick enough. This was still a big hit at my house, as we loved it. It made a great Sunday supper on a cold winter night.

Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

Mar 14, 2013

This beef and Guinness pie is beautiful yet rustic with a flavor that’s full and rich. The vegetables cook up nice and tender but still retain some color and shape. The feel of the stew is silky but so satisfying, and the beef is fork-tender. The puff pastry is a wonderful bonus as it’s buttery but so easy to place on top. I made the pie filling the evening before so we’d a wonderful dinner to come home to on a Monday evening. The Guinness, A.1., and Worcestershire blend so well together and add an amazing depth to the sauce. This recipe is wonderful for a family dinner, company, or a cold evening in great need of comfort food. It was delicious

Comments
Comments
  1. jamie says:

    Wow! Stupendous! I have long wanted to make one of these beauties! I did once learn to make a lamb and Guinness stew from a Frenchman who had worked in Galway. He added sea urchins as a final French touch. But there is something about making this into a pie with a crust….

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Thanks, Jamie. Let us know how it goes! (And really? Sea urchins in a lamb and Guinness pie? Lord….)

      • jamie says:

        The sea urchins gave it a really odd flavor—but so did the Guinness. Not really that much different from each other once cooked. But oddly addictive. He ended up serving it in his restaurant.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Well, let’s just say I won’t be seeking that restaurant out during our next sojourn to France….

  2. Kim Bultman says:

    If a picture isn’t worth a thousand words, that quote will convince non-Guinness believers. (Your photo was stellar, by the way!) I’m passing your recipe along to my (Irish) relatives…me, I’m kind of a wimpy ale girl myself, lol. (But I’d eat this in a heartbeat!)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Many thanks, Kim. We actually can’t take credit for that stunning photograph; instead, kudos go to blogger and cookbook author Katie Quinn Davies. You’ll find more of her creative artistry in em>What Katie Ate, the book from which we excerpted this recipe, with the blessing of her publisher, natch. As for the rest, I’m an ale girl myself, but the heating and the vegetables sorta tame the bitterness of the Guinness quite nicely. Still, I have to confess, if forced to consume stout, I find that perhaps the sweetest way to be this not-exactly-intuitive-but-incredibly-satiating ice cream float—which, by the way, is also QUITE nice when made with an amber ale.

  3. foodelf says:

    I purchased the ingredients I needed today, including Guinness and began prep this evening—it’s intended to be finished tomorrow with its puff pastry lid. Just thought I’d mention that I often bake the pastry lid separately, to ensure it’s cooked properly underneath. Sometimes if the lid is covering something juicy, like a stew, the bottom side of the crust can be a touch undercooked or soggy. This works well for a larger dish or for individual ones—no-one has ever noticed that I’ve popped the pastry on top of the “pie” just before serving.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      foodelf, many thanks, what a swell trick. I would imagine your tactic also allows you more control over the consistency of the stew as well, such that you can reduce it just the desired point before plopping the lid on top. Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to hearing what you think tomorrow….

      • foodelf says:

        My conclusion about this dish is that the quantity of beef and onions should be doubled. Even though I cut the liquids by half, it was still extremely soupy—I prefer not to thicken with flour or cornstarch. I considered decanting the liquids to further reduce them, but didn’t want to loose the nuances of Guinness, Worcestershire, and steak sauce. I made an effort to purchase beef that wasn’t extra lean (which seems to dominate the market) and that ensured a beautifully tender result. My other tweak was to braise in the oven at 300F for about 3 1/2 hrs, preferring slow-oven braising is just a personal quirk. Loved the flavors and plan to make again.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Love how you made this recipe your own, foodelf. We find that a preferred stewy consistency tends to vary quite a lot from one reader to the next, and I love when readers follow their instincts and preferences. Thanks for sharing your tips and tactics.

  4. Jim Durrett says:

    Very much enjoyed the Guinness beef pie. Used about 2lbs. of beef chuck and followed the recipe. The A1A and Worcestershire sauce give it an amazing flavor. I found it a little soupy so I just added approximately 3 tablespoons of corn starch and simmered it maybe 3 1/2 hours. I am a recent subscriber to your site, it is very good. Love those Appalachian Cider beans. I was so happy with the pie that I tried to post a picture, never done that before, so don’t know if you’ll receive it or not. Slainte’

    Beef and Guinness Pie

    • Julie Dreyfoos says:

      Thanks Jim for sharing the lovely image of your results. We are so glad to hear that you have joined our group of subscribers and we look forward to hearing more from you and what recipes that you have tried.

  5. Charlotte says:

    Ok I’m a goof. I’m stumped on what size pot to this thing in. How much filing are we talking here?

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Charlotte, not a goofy question at all. I usually use 2.75 qt Le Creuset oval oven when I make this.

  6. Germaine says:

    I was thinking of cooking the beef in a slow cooker over night, let it cool while I’m at work and finishing up the pie for dinner. Can this be done?

    • David Leite says:

      Germaine, I think you can make the filling in the slow cooker, but the issue is the cover needs to be off so that the liquid evaporates and concentrates. Are you allowed to do that with your slow cooker?

      • Germaine says:

        I suppose so. I have made pulled pork in the slow cooker and the liquids evaporated quite significantly. I shall try with this recipe. Thanks!

        • David Leite David Leite says:

          Germaine, I don’t make much except stock in a slow cooker, so I can’t speak from experience for this recipe. Please let me know if enough liquid evaporates for you.

          • Bella says:

            Stock in a pressure cooker at my house!

            I braised/stewed this lovely concoction in my oven. Set very low at 275, for about 3 hours. I unhinged the lid a bit for the last hour and added a slight slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it more. Perfect!

  7. pmstewrat says:

    I tweaked this recipe a lot, and it still turned out amazing! I am one who hardly ever uses only the ingredients listed on a recipe, and will normally combine 4 or 5 recipes to make one perfect recipe. I used the basics from this recipe (meat, stock, garlic, celery, carrot, etc…) but didn’t add the tomatoes, but added some potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, tomato paste, a sprinkle of dried mustard, and I made my own puff pastry dough as well. Prior to browning the meat, I added salt and pepper to the flour to season the meat (2 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper). I also added a little extra of the coarsely chopped ingredients and nearly doubled the meat (as I wanted a nice thick stew rather than a soupy stew). I honestly can say this is one of the best meals I’ve ever made. The flavor was beyond compare. I am most definitely going to make this again!!

    • David Leite David Leite says:

      pmstewrat, I think this shows just how resilient this recipe is. I love all of your changes and additions. Thanks for adding a new layer of possibility to this bed and Guinness pie recipe.

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