It has been a difficult week for many reasons. If you’ve turned on the television or read the news anytime since Friday morning, then you are all too aware of the horrific massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. This senseless act has touched us all and reminds us to hold those we love close to our hearts and tell them everyday that we love them. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those people lost and their families that are left behind to pick up the pieces and make sense of it all.
In addition to this painful event, on Wednesday our sweet dog Bailey passed away. She was 16 years old, which is pretty amazing for a big dog. She was definitely the Grande Dame around this house, and we miss her so much. I find myself looking for her around the house, in the bedroom where she would lay on her blanket next to the bed. I know the hurt will fade, but the memory of our sweet girl never will.
When planning what to post this week – or to do so at all considering the state of things – I immediately thought of “comfort.” The Dude always laughs at that phrase – comfort food. But for me, certain foods do invoke a feeling of comfort. Something warm, filling, and tasting of home. I decided on a beef and stout pie. Irish in origin, the dish is perfect for a gray, damp winter day. Interesting how the weather has mirrored our emotions these last few days. When making this dish I used The Dude’s home-brewed Oatmeal Stout, but you can use your favorite commercially brewed stout if you aren’t lucky enough to have a master brewer living at your house. Guinness is always a good bet for a quality stout.
Beef and Stout Pie
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless chuck steak or eye of round steak, cut in 1 inch cubes
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1-1/4 cups beef stock
- 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
- 8 oz button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 cup stout
- 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
Combine the flour and salt and pepper in a bowl. In a heavy skillet on medium high heat, add 2-3 TBSP vegetable oil. Dredge the meat in the flour and brown in the skillet. Cook the meat in batches and transfer the browned meat to a heavy dutch oven. De-glaze the skillet with 1/4 cup of the beef stock. Pour the liquid over the meat in the dutch oven.
Add 1-2 TBSP vegetable oil to the same skillet and saute the onion and mushrooms until soft, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the dutch oven. Add the tomato paste, thyme, the rest of the beef stock (1 cup), and the stout. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and checking the seasonings.
After simmering, remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and drain, allowing the mixture to cool. Transfer the meat mixture equally into 4 1-1/2 cup ramekins or oven proof bowls. Cover the meat mixture with a ladle full of the the gravy. Roll out your thawed puff pastry and cut into four quarters. On each quarter, cut a 1/2 inch strip. Dampen the edge of your ramekin and run the strip of puff pastry around the edge of your ramekin or bowl. Brush beaten egg yolk around the strip and place the square of puff pastry over the top of the ramekin. Trim the dough and crimp the edges with a fork. Vent the pastry top with three slits. Brush with the egg yolk.
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place a cookie sheet in the oven while it pre-heats. Bake the pies for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is dark golden brown.
Enjoy with a nice green salad and a pint of your favorite stout. Slainte!