Beef and Guinness Pie
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When we hear the words comfort food, this is a dish that immediately comes to mind. A rich, savory pie filled with a beautiful Beefy sauce, The Beef and Guinness Pie is as British as Fish and Chips or crappy weather. In fact, it makes total sense why the British devour this pie in droves. It is the perfect dish to eat when its cold, rainy and generally miserable outside. Who cares what the weather is like if you’ve got a Beef and Guinness Pie to tuck into!

Savory pies are not only common in the UK (and Australia / New Zealand where we grew up), they are one of the most popular dishes in the country. The history of savory pies spans decades, back in the Victorian times where great feasts were created for royalty and dignitaries from around the country. Baked with delicious pastry and encasing beautiful meat fillings, the favorite of many back then and to this day is the Beef Pie

Cooked in a delicious brown gravy which thickens with the use of flour, slow braising meat turns super tender and luxurious. The Guinness adds equal sweet and bitter notes which complement the pie amazingly. It truly is a treat, and very far from the sweet pies Americans are used to!

Best cut of Meat for a Beef and Guinness Pie

The key to a good Beef and Guinness Pie recipe is the Beef. A good pie has lots of it! Worst thing you can get with a meat pie is a bite full of gravy and very little meat. So the more Beef in the pie, the better it will be! It also helps with making a thicker pie, which makes for much better eating. The Best type of Beef to use is either Chuck or Beef Cheeks. Braising meat that requires longer cook times at a low temperature to break down the fibers and become beautiful and tender

Another good cut of Beef is Beef Short Ribs. The rich flavor they bring to the dish is unmatched. They will slowly break down in the braising liquid and become melt in the mouth tender. They do cost a little bit more money than some of the other cuts however, so if you’re cashed up then go for it!

The added benefit of using these braising meat cuts for the pie is they are generally a lot cheaper to buy. You may need to trim down some excess fat and silver skin, however there is no need to be super picky. Leave some fat on the beef, as it will just make for a tastier gravy in the pie

Beef and Guinness Pie plating
This recipe provides a generous amount of Beef and Guinness Pie for everyone!

How to make the perfect Beef and Guinness Pie

The key to making a great Beef and Guinness Pie lies in the braising liquid. The flavor of the pie is concentrated in a wonderful liquid that the Beef then slowly cooks in for hours. The slow cooking process will help to break down the meat, leaving it tender, and packed full of flavor. If you nail a great braising liquid, the pie will taste amazing. Guaranteed!

Make a delicious braising liquid for a Beef and Guinness Pie

Making a great braising liquid is all about building flavors gradually. There is no point dumping all of the ingredients into the pot at once and hoping for the best. You need to gradually add the ingredients at the right step. Allow those flavors to develop before continuing

We start the process by searing / browning the meat. This process serves three purposes. The first, is to Caramelize the Beef, which gives it a wonderful flavor. We coat the Beef in Flour before it goes into the pan to brown, so the second purpose is to introduce Flour to the dish as a thickening agent

Finally, the third purpose is to seal in the flavors and juices of the Beef. That way, once it goes into the pan for the slow braise, those flavors will retain into the Beef as it cooks

Leave all those delicious beef bits that are stuck to the pan once you remove the beef. Those are the tastiest parts of the dish! Now its time to add the ‘Mise en Place’ which is the fancy chef word for Carrots, Celery and Onions. This trilogy of flavors forms the basis for so many wonderful classic dishes. As they cook, their water will release and what is remaining is concentrated vegetable flavor

Beef and Guinness Pie on plate
The braising liquid is what brings all of the flavor to this delicious Beef and Guinness Pie recipe

Add the Liquids including the Guinness

We then add the Tomatoes and reduce them down a little bit, before adding the Guinness. Guinness is obviously a critical ingredient in the dish. Not sure how it could be called a Beef and Guinness Pie without Guinness! Guinness is naturally bitter, however as it cooks down it does sweeten, and the flavor becomes concentrated. It adds a lovely warmth to the dish

Beef Stock is another very important ingredient when making a braising liquid for the Beef and Guinness Pie. We always recommend using Homemade Beef Stock and Broth instead of the store-bought stuff. It tastes better and is so much healthier for you. We’ve got a great recipe here that we encourage you to use

In goes the Beef, on goes the lid, and down goes the heat. This is the easiest part of the cooking process as you don’t need to do anything! Simply let the liquid slowly braise the Beef and break it down. We like to check it every hour or so and give it a little mix around. Just to keep everything moving

The braising process takes about 3 – 4 hours. About 3 hours in, remove the lid and continue to braise. The objective here is to start to reduce the liquid so it starts to form a gravy-like consistency. If the meat is completely cook and already falling apart but the sauce is still quite runny, that’s totally fine. Simply remove the Beef from the Pot, then crank up the heat to reduce the liquid until you get a gravy-like consistency

Once the filling is done it’s time to assemble the Pie

Some may say we’re cutting corners here, but for our recipe we’re using store-bought Puff Pastry for our Pie crust. You can make your own, but we’ve found that the store-bought Puff Pastry is more than decent for this recipe. It also cuts out a load of work

The Pie is assembled like a Chicken Pot Pie. The filling goes into a large oven safe dish and the Pastry is rolled out and simply laid on top of the Pie. This is a family style Beef and Guinness Pie that you spoon out portions onto individual plates. So, no need for a pie to be fully encased in pastry

In between the Pie filling and the pastry is a layer of Cheddar Cheese. The Cheese adds some nice body to the pie, as well as that wonderful sharp flavor that you come to expect of with Cheddar Cheese

Add some egg wash to the pastry and poke a few holes in it to ensure the steam can escape, and then bake the pie for 30 – 35 minutes at 375F. Cook the pie until the pastry is a dark golden-brown color. Don’t take it out of the oven too early, the Pastry will take longer than you expect to fully cook through

Beef and Guinness Pie with Mashed Potatoes
Why not whip up a perfect batch of Mashed Potatoes to enjoy with your Beef and Guinness Pie?

The perfect side dishes to enjoy with this Pie

Once cooked, leave it to rest for at least 20 minutes. This allows the pie to settle, and the filling to thicken up a little bit. While the pie is resting you can make some side dishes to serve with it. Here are some of our all-time favorite sides that we recommend you enjoy along with this delicious Beef and Guinness Pie

Recipe Details

Servings

4 – 8 people

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

5 hours

Total time

5 hours

Beef and Guinness Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. Beef Chuck or Beef Cheeks
  • 2 sheets of Puff Pastry
  • 1 Egg
  • 800ml (28 oz.) Canned Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 large Carrot, finely diced
  • 2 Celery Stick, finely diced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
  • 1 x 440 ml can of Guinness
  • ½ cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Beef Stock (recipe here)
  • 4 sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 4 tsp. Vegetable / Canola Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Trim any excess fat and silver skin from the Beef then cut into large pieces, about 2 inches thick
  2. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl with 2 tsp. of Salt and 2 tsp. of Pepper then add the Beef, coating well
  3. Heat half the Vegetable Oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium / high heat. Once hot, add half the Beef and Brown well on each side, approximately 1 minute on each side. Once browned, set aside
  4. Remove the Beef, add the remaining Vegetable Oil and repeat with the remaining Beef, then set aside
  5. In the same pot add the Onion, Carrots and Celery and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are lovely and tender. Add the Garlic and cook for 2 more minutes
  6. Add the Tomato Paste and cook for 2 minutes, mixing to combine it well with the vegetables. Then add the Canned Tomatoes, Guinness, Beef Stock, Rosemary, Thyme, and 1 tbsp. of Salt. Bring to a Boil then reduce heat to low
  7. Cover and cook for 3 hours until the Beef is lovely and tender. Remove the Lid and continue to cook for a further hour to reduce the liquid. After 4 hours if the liquid still needs more reduction, remove the Beef, and increase the heat to medium to continue reducing

Beef and Guinness Pie Filling
Once reduced, the Beef and Guinness Pie filling will be rich and thick

Assembling the Pie

  1. Once the mixture has cooled, place it into a large baking dish. You want the mixture to be filled almost to the top of the baking dish, so chose one appropriate to the amount of mixture you’re working with
  2. Layer the Cheese on top of the beef mixture, then lay the Puff Pastry on top. Ensure that the Pastry is folded over the edges of the baking tray to ensure it stays in place during the cooking process
  3. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and brush Egg mixture across the top of the pastry. Poke a few holes in the pastry then bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes
  4. Remove from heat, let cool then serve!

The classic combination of this beautiful Beef and Guinness Pie is with Mashed Potatoes and Ketchup. The Mashed Potatoes soak up all that delicious gravy and the Ketchup is simply a match made in heaven when eaten with the pie

For the best Mashed Potatoes ever check out our recipe here and Happy Cooking!

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