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Irish Beef, Stout & Mushroom Pies




There's nothing more quintessentially Irish than a hearty, flavour-infused beef, stout and mushroom pie. This delectable dish is a culinary journey that captures the essence of Ireland's rich food heritage in every bite.

Escape to your kitchen this weekend and make this comfort food Irish classic that is so well worth the effort!


Picture chunks of succulent Irish beef slow-cooked to a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. Now add a generous serving of earthy mushrooms and a splash of robust stout, which lends a rich, dark velvety taste to the dish. Topped with a golden puff pastry, this is the epitome of Irish comfort food, a feast that warms your soul and tantalises your taste buds.


What's the secret to this incredibly delicious pie, you ask? It has to be the authentic Irish stout. This isn’t just beer; it's a culture, a tradition, and a staple of Irish food. It adds a deep and potent flavor to the stew, complementing the natural sweetness of the slowly caramelized onions and the earthiness of mushrooms.


Creating the pie is an unhurried and pleasurable experience. As the beef slowly simmers in the stout, the kitchen gets filled with an irresistible aroma. It's almost as if in this pot bubbles Ireland's rich history and heritage.


And while the preparation of this pie may take time, trust us when we say, each bite rewards your patience with a symphony of flavors that's true to traditional Irish cuisine.


Serve this impressive pie to surprise your family with it on a cold winter's night. Or better yet, let us plan a journey for you to Ireland where you can savor this delicious pie in its homeland!


We're thrilled that our small group tour, MYTHICAL IRELAND is sold out for 2024!


But if you are looking for a private as a solo travelers, with family and loved ones, at Weave a Thousand Journeys, we can guide you through emerald landscapes, into the grand castles, along the rugged coastline and in the bustling pubs were music and laughter abound. And yes, there will be plenty of opportunities to devour the beloved Beef, Stout & Mushroom Pie!


Hope this recipe adds a little oomph in your kitchen this week!


warmly,

Devaki



Recipe for

Irish Beef, Stout & Mushroom Pies

Serves 4

Shopping list:

2 lbs. beef chuck or beef stew meat 1 lb. (16 oz.) baby bella/crimini mushrooms

yellow onion, to yield 2-1/2 cups chopped

fresh thyme, to yield 2 tbsp. chopped leaves

3-1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1-1/4 cups Guinness stout

1-1/4 cups beef stock or water

3-4 tbsp. canola oil

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 package, 2 sheets Pepperidge farm puff pastry

1 egg yolk + 2 tbsp. heavy cream/half & half to brush the pastry


Also required are 4 qty, 1-1/2 cup sized oven proof pie dishes, cocottes, au gratin dishes or the like and a heavy rolling pin.


Cook's note: Ramekins that are only 1 cup measure will not work.

Preparation:

Beef: Sandwich the beef on a baking tray between kitchen paper towels and dry completely. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper and set aside.

Onion: Peel, cut off ends and discard. Chop into 1/4" x 1/4" pieces and set aside.

Mushrooms: Wipe with damp kitchen paper towel, cut off the stems and quarter. Set aside until ready to use.

Puff pastry: Begin to defrost at room temperature for 40 mins. only once the beef is set to cook under lid. The pastry should still be cold but be easily unfolded without cracking at the seams.

Cook's Note: If after 40 minutes, the pastry is defrosted but the meat has not yet cooked, place the pastry sheets back in the packaging and in the fridge until ready to use.


Method:

Heat a Dutch oven or large cast iron pot for a minute or so on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and once hot, add the beef cubes in a single layer. Sear for 2-3 minutes and turn over and sear for another few minutes on the other side as well. Add the flour and continue to sauté for 3 minutes or so until the flour has thoroughly coated the meat.


Add the onions and mushrooms, salt and pepper and sauté for approx. 10 minutes on medium heat until the onions have softened and the mushrooms are brown and tender.


Thyme: Strip the leaves from the stems and measure out 2 tbsp. Chop and set aside.


Add the stout and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, thyme leaves, beef stock or water, sugar and, baking soda. Bring to a heavy simmer. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for approx. 40 minutes or another 10 minutes or so until the beef is very tender.


Taste and adjust seasonings. The gravy should be quite thick at this stage. Using a slotted spoon, equally distribute just the meat first equally in the baking dishes. Then spoon the gravy equally among the dishes and no greater than the 3/4 mark to the meat. In short, don't allow the gravy to completely bury the meat.


Preheat the oven to 425 deg. F.


Puff pastry: Prepare a clean working surface by wiping down with a damp cloth and then a dry one so it is ready to use and not wet.


Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp. of flour on the surface and roll pout the puff pastry so you end up with a large square that can cover at least 2 baking dishes with a 1/2-inch overhang on all sides. You may be able to get all 4 of your baking dishes on one sheet if you are using narrower cocottes.


Cook's Note: Since I'm 4.5-inch terracotta cazuelas that I picked up in Spain for my baking dishes, I was only able to fit 2 of them diagonally on each sheet so ended up using both the puff pastry sheets.


Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry around the shape of each of your baking dishes, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around.


Using the remaining scraps, cut 3/4" wide length/s. Get a bowl of tap water and using your index finger, wet the rim of your baking dish one at a time. Take the pastry 3/4" thick pieces and press it down along the rim. Cut and repeat from the scraps as needed until one pastry dish has a complete pastry rim.


We your index finger again and run it around the pastry rim to wet it. Drape the pastry over the baking dish and press down around the rim and sides so your baking dish is now covered with the pastry.


Repeat the process until each of your baking dishes are covered with pastry.


Cook's Note: The puff pastry rim around each of the baking dishes is a clever hack to avoid the pastry from shrinking and leaving the edges of the bowl as happens quite often with puff pastry.


Use a sharp knife and make 4 attractive cuts in the pastry tops. You can use the scraps to make decorative designs if you please.


Egg yolk: Separate the egg from the yolk and use the egg white for your omelet the next day or for some future baking. Whisk the egg yolk with the heavy cream or half and half.


Using a pastry brush, gently dab the mixture over each of the pastry tops on all 4 baking dishes.


Place all 4 dishes on a large baking tray and place in the hot oven. Bake for approx. 20 minutes. until the puff pastry is beautiful golden brown and risen spectacularly!


Serve the pies hot with a green salad or a side of sautéed peas, carrots and beans.


Enjoy!


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