Serves: 6

This pie is a real winner.

I pulled it from Jamie at Home, one of Jamie Oliver’s excellent books and it is a serious cooking homerun. It is so rich, with the stewed meat and the pastry all around – not just on top – and then there is the cheese.

I have done this pie twice, both times with a mash and peas.

Winter can stick around a bit longer if it means pies like this!

Ingredients

Olive oil
3 medium red onions , peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 carrots , peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery , trimmed and chopped
4 field mushrooms , peeled and sliced
1 kg quality brisket of beef or stewing beef , cut into 2cm cubes
A few sprigs fresh rosemary , leaves picked and chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
440 ml Guinness
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
150 g Cheddar cheese , freshly grated
340 g ready-made all-butter puff pastry
1 large free-range egg , beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c.
  2. In a heavy saucepan on a low heat, heat some olive oil and then add the onions and gently fry for 10 minutes, trying not to colour them. Turn the heat up and add the garlic, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Stir together well before adding the beef, a pinch of salt and a level teaspoon of pepper.
  3. Fry fast for 3 to 4 minutes and then pour in the Guinness, stir in the flour and just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and place in the preheated oven for about 1 ½ hours.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and stir. Return to the over for another hour or until the meat is tender and the stew is rich, dark and thick; you want a thick gravy.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in half the cheese, season and set aside to cool.
  6. Grease a casserole and lay pastry on the bottom and walls, ensure that there are no gaps. Tip the stew in, even it out and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with the remaining pastry and criss-cross it lightly with a sharp knife. Brush the top with beaten egg and then bake the pie in the oven for 45 minutes until the pastry is golden and puffed.

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