According to Sam Sifton, “We built this Guinness Pie recipe out of advice and instruction from the British chefs Jamie Oliver (the stew) and Fergus Henderson (the pastry).” The Guinness Pie recipe was featured last year by the New York Times’ food editor, Sam Sifton and was a great success when served for St. Patrick’s Day.
Mr. Sifton convincingly argues that “Eating it — salty and rich, buttoned with sweetness — will occasion thoughts of a coming walk or a nap on the couch with the dog. You’ll want some red wine to drink. It’s awesome.”
I quite agree with Mr. Sifton, this recipe is delicious. I tip my hat to the culinary experts that collaborated to make this St. Patrick’s Day special. It sure beats corned beef and cabbage, but many Irish will disagree. Personally, I feel that the stew needs a touch of vinegar. I added a bit more than 2 teaspoons of Gourmet Living’s balsamic vinegar, but Worcestershire sauce also works quite well.
Guinness Pie for St. Patrick's Day
FOR THE STEW
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 large red onions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 10 mushrooms trimmed and sliced
- 3 pounds brisket preferably second-cut or stew meat, chopped into bite-size pieces
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 4 cups Guinness about 2 cans Guinness or other stout
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese grated (add just before baking)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce just before baking. Optional
FOR THE PASTRY
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (very cold) 1 stick, diced
- 1 egg yolk lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large, ovenproof pan fitted with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms and remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are dark in color and the moisture released by them has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
- Season the beef pieces all over with salt and pepper. Add the beef, flour and rosemary to the pan and cook over high heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
- Add enough Guinness to just cover the beef. Cover the pan and put it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and stir. Return to the oven and cook for 1 hour more. If it remains thin, set the pan over medium-low heat, remove the lid and reduce the liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If using Cheddar, fold in about half.
- While the stew is cooking, prepare the pastry: sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, quickly work the butter into the dough until it is the texture of coarse meal. Add ice water, a splash at a time, until a firm dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin, roll to the thickness of a computer mouse pad. Pour the stew into an 8-inch-square, 2-inch-high Pyrex dish or a deep 9-inch pie pan. If using Cheddar, scatter the remaining cheese across the top. Place the dough on top of the pie and pinch it closed around the edges using the tines of a fork, then slash the center lightly with a knife. Brush with the egg yolk, place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until the pastry is puffy and golden.