Here's the thinking: Mathew loves pies. It's national pie week. Mathew loves Guinness. This week is Saint Patricks day. I love Mathew. A dinner decision easily made.
Bit of a classic pie is this, but I couldn't resist trying something different with it and the addition of black pudding brings an extra layer of richness to the dish.
I'm especially pleased with my 'artistic' shamrocks (though if I didn't say they were shamrocks you might not have guessed) but as cute as they may be, it's the taste that counts, and this pie is packed with it.
When cooking with Guinness I always find I need a little sugar to help counter its deep, dark bitterness. That's also why I chose to serve it with crispy roasted sweet potatoes - they're soft, chewy and sweet and complement the pies liquor perfectly.
Pie for 4:
700g feather steak or any other cut that's good for braising
80g diced black pudding, fried until crispy
2 cans of Guinness
4 carrots, peeled and cut into rings
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 golden onions, peeled and quartered
A couple of teaspoons of cornflour, mixed up with water
One packed of ready made shortcrust pastry
A couple of tablespoons plain flour
2 bay leaves
A few generous pinches of ground black pepper
One egg, beaten just before using
Extra virgin olive oil
4 medium sweet potatoes, boiled until tender, then quartered and left to cool
Peas to serve
- In a slow cooker (or you could do this in the oven in a pot with a lid) combine the beef, carrots, onion, celery, bay leaves, a couple of pinches of black pepper and Guinness, and cook on a low setting for around 6 hours until the meat is tender and coming apart.
- Strain the slow cooker contents through a fine sieve, catching the liquor in a pan. Pick out the carrots and meat and set aside, discard the onions and celery.
- Bring the liquor to the simmer and cook until its reduced in volume by around half, and add the cornflour to thicken the sauce - cook it for another 10 minutes to cook the flavour of the cornflour out. Once this is done remove it from the heat and add the carrots and beef back into the sauce along with the black pudding and leave to cool
- Once cooled, place the pie contents into a pie dish, and brush the edge of the dish with beaten egg
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
- Now roll out the shortcrust pastry on a lightly floured work surface, and drape it over the dish. Crimp the edges of the pie around the dish and cut off the excess, brush the pie with the beaten egg and if you have done shamrocks (not essential!) place them on the egg washed pastry and then brush their tops too
- Put the sweet potatoes into a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and put into the oven along with the pie (the pie on the shelf above the potatoes) give the potatoes a shake a few times to make sure all their edges get crisp
- Cook them both for around 30-35 minutes, until the pie is bubbling at the sides and nice and golden, and the potatoes are crisp
- Serve with peas