Today’s recipe features Irish Steak, Guinness Stout & Cheddar Cheese Pie in celebration of St. Paddy’s Day. This dish is an adaptation of the recipe by my dear friend Cara Kretz whose recipe was an adaptation of two other Irish pie recipes. With our changes, this recipe has really settled in as tried and tested. Cara is the author of the wildly popular Blog Homemade Italian Cooking. I don’t think her blog is properly named because Cara makes delicious food from just about any ethnicity. It’s hard to lock her in to simply Italian food, although she does that incredibly well. Check out her site here, pick a recipe and make it; they’re all delicious.
I called this an adaptation of Cara’s recipe. The original recipe called for sirloin but, after a long discussion with my butcher, I was convinced that a piece of meat from the shoulder would be better marbled and a little bit more fatty, allowing for more flavor but not so much fat that it would make my dish greasy. Chuck used to be considered a lesser expensive cut of meat but, sadly, now that more people have found the benefits of this cut, it is not always a better deal. All in all, it looks like I chose wisely because this meat is fall-apart tender, full of flavor and there’s absolutely no grease.
One of my favorite things about my job is when my kids or my husband walk in the front door and exclaim, “Oh my gosh mom it smells so good in here! What are you doing and what are we having for dinner?” They love it when I reply, “this is for a photo shoot I’ll be finishing tomorrow. For now, you’ll have to order a pizza.” Sadly, it was the truth. This is a great make-ahead meal. You can make the stew the day before and then, when you’re ready, simply add your puff pastry and bake.
I served the pie alongside brown bread with salted butter and mashed potatoes. Colcannon is a traditional boiled potato dish mashed with cabbage. I’ve mashed these potatoes with sautéed kale, bacon and caramelized onions.
Irish Steak, Guinness Stout & Cheddar Cheese Pie
- 3 pounds well-marbled chuck roast
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon coarse Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 ½ cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 16 oz. baby portabello mushrooms, trimmed and washed (leave whole or cut big ones in half)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- two 12oz bottles Guinness stout
- 1 cup Irish Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 1 pound frozen, puff-pastry, thawed
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- Cut the roast into 1-inch pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Toss the steak cubes with the flour mixture until each piece is thoroughly coated.
- In a dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Cook the beef in batches until browned on all sides. Transfer the browned beef to a bowl.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook 6-7 minutes or until slightly caramelized.
- Add the tomato paste, thyme sprigs, stout, molasses and beef stock to the Dutch oven.
- Add the browned beef back to the pot.
- Heat over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently with the lid slightly askew for 1 1/2 hours. At the end of the cooking time, test the mixture for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
- Let the mixture sit until cooled. Remove the thyme sprig stems. At this point, if you’d like, you can let this rest overnight in the refrigerator to make the pie the next day.
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Roll out the thawed puff pastry and cut to fit a 9-inch ceramic pie pan, leaving about a 1-inch margin all around.
- Gently mix the grated cheese into the cooled meat filling. Ladle the meat filling into the ungreased pie pan and pile up high.
- Brush water around the edge of the pie pan. Place the cut puff pastry over the top. Roll the overhang to form an edge and make an indentation with your thumb to make a pretty edge. Press down gently so that the pastry sticks to the dish. You can use the remaining puff pastry to cut out shapes for decoration.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet. Brush the top with beaten egg yolk and make 4 slashes on the top to allow steam to escape while baking.
- Bake for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 400° F and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and let sit briefly to cool. Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig if desired.