Thursday, 25 November 2010

Homemade Steak and Guinness Pie with Assorted Fresh Veg

Steak and Guinness make a fabulous combination in a puff pastry pie. I vividly remember the first time I ever tasted Steak and Guinness Pie. It was in a pub in Edinburgh, called The Last Drop, more than twenty years ago. It remains the best Steak and Guinness Pie I have ever tasted and I have sampled it many times over the years, particularly when I lived in Edinburgh for a time. It is made from The Last Drop's own secret recipe and is still prepared and served the same way to this very day. I can heartily recommend it if you ever find yourself on or near The Grassmarket, in Edinburgh's famous Old Town.

Steak and Guinness Pie is extremely easy to prepare at home, especially if you buy the puff pastry, rather than make it yourself. In this instance, I have served it with some boiled new potatoes in herb butter and fresh carrots and broccoli.

Ingredients (Serves Two)

1lb stewing steak
1 pint of Guinness
1 pint of fresh beef stock
1 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour
Pinch of fresh thyme
Little bit of sunflower oil for browning
5oz puff pastry
1 beaten egg for glazing
Salt and pepper

12 new potatoes
1 small head of broccoli
1 large carrot
Pinch of dried dill
Little bit of butter


The cooking time for the steak will depend on the particular cut that you buy. Stewing steak such as this will cook in an hour, whereas shin of beef - as I often use - will take at least two hours. Simply let it simmer until the steak is tender but do ask your butcher if you require advice or a recommendation.

The flour should be added to a bowl and seasoned before the steak is tossed through it to ensure even coating. A little sunflower oil should be heated in a large pot before the steak is then quickly browned in it. The beef stock and Guinness should then be added and brought to a simmer, kept at same until the steak is tender.

It is important to allow the steak to cool completely, or at least considerably, before assembling the pie. Otherwise, the steam coming from it will make the underside of the pastry soggy and possibly cause it to collapse.

The cooled steak and enough of the gravy to almost completely cover it should be added to a pie dish such as this ashet. The pastry should then be rolled out large enough to cover the dish and leave sufficient offcuts to line the edges of the dish as shown. If you have any more pastry left over, you can use it to form a small design for the top of the pie, such as this Guinness Harp I attempted to fashion...

The pie should be lightly glazed with beaten egg and put in to an oven pre-heated to 400F/200C/Gas mark 6 for thirty to forty minutes, until the paste is risen and golden.

When the pie is in the oven, the potatoes should be washed and added to a pot of cold, slightly salted water, brought to a boil and then simmered for thirty minutes or until soft. The carrot should be scraped and chopped in to finger sized pieces and added to a separate pot of cold, salted water after about a further ten minutes to boil and then simmer. The broccoli head should be broken in to florets and added to the pot with the carrots ten minutes before everything is due to be ready.

The potatoes should be drained before being swirled in the butter and dill. The various ingredients can then be assembled on heated plates and served immediately.

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