Beef and (not) Guinness Pie

Recently, I've felt in need of. For no particular reason, I was feeling needy, and a pie seemed like the perfect solution. Rich and comforting, flaky pastry over a bowl of beef and mushrooms, it's a hug in food form.

The lovely man is not a regular beer drinker, but when he does have a craving for one, Kilkenny is usually the winner. It's an Irish cream ale, made by the some company as Guinness, and apparently "also includes the aroma of toasted bread". I just needed an ale to go in my pie, and this seemed to kill two birds with one...can. Half of it went in to the sauce, and the other half was given to the lovely man. Win-win.

This pie tastes like pie. It's everything you'd want to find under your pastry - rich, meaty sauce, chunks of beef and mushroom with some sweet leeks, it really is unpretentious comfort food. It has a bit of a tang from the balsamic and the tomato paste, so don't be afraid to add a (generous) sprinkle of sugar before you remove it from the pan, if you find it too acidic.

To feed 2 very comfortably (adapted from here)

200g beef (I used rib-eye steak, but stewing beef would also work)
1 tbsp flour
20ml oil
1 small onion, chopped finely (I used leeks instead)
150g button mushrooms, chopped chunky
100ml beef stock
100ml Guinness (I used Kilkenny - the lovely man's favourite...hence the "not Guinness pie!")
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 roll ready made butter puff pastry, thawed
1 egg lightly beaten

Place the beef in a bowl, with salt, pepper and flour and toss to coat. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the beef on all sides. Remove and place in a bowl when done.

Add the onion (or leeks) to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the beef, stock, Guinness (or lager of your choice), tomato paste, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil then reduce to a very low simmer for about 40 minutes, or until your beef is very tender and your sauce has thickened to your desired consistency. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
Divide into two ramekins (I used my lovely soup bowls from Le Creuset). Cut rounds in your pastry to cover the tops of your bowls. Brush some egg onto the lip of your bowl, lay the pastry rounds on top, and squeeze the edges with your fingers to seal. Brush the top of your pastry with egg, make a little slash with your knife to let the steam escape, and decorate with extra pastry if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and puffed.


  1. thats a delicious way to begin the month...

    1. Thank you! It's perfect for this weather too.



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