Jamie Oliver’s Steak, Guinness and Cheese Pie with a Puff Pastry lid

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.

Neil Perry’s Beef Braised with Guinness

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Such a great cook book. Everything is a success.

Serves: 4 – 6 with a good dollop of champ or parmesan polenta

My favourite cookbook is Neil Perry’s The Food I Love. I’ve had it for years and have cooked so much from it.

The first recipe from it – years and years back – to christen a new Le Creuset pot was this beautiful braise. Since then, it is one of the first recipes I cook when the colder part of the year starts; that afternoon where you notice the chill and put on a good jumper.

It really does put a smile on your face as you snuggle up with a glass of red, a good serving of champ and some beans. Put on a movie, dim the lights and look forward to the coming months filled with meals like this.

Ingredients

1 kg beef shin, cut into 2cm cubes
Sea salt
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
2 fresh bay leaves
1 medium brown onion, chopped into 2cm cubes
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 2cm lengths
1 medium leek, white part only, cut into 2cm lengths
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 thyme sprigs
1c (250ml) Guinness (yes there is some left over and yes you should drink it – it’s cold!)
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. Remove the beef from the fridge an hour before cooking and season with sea salt.
  2. Put olive oil and bay leave sin a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over a high-heat. When hot, add half the beef and brown all over. Remove and repeat with the remaining beef.
  3. If need be, add a little more oil to the pan and add the onion to the pan and cook for 10 minutes over a gentle heat.
  4. Return the beef to the pan and add the carrot, leek, garlic, thyme Guinness and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 1 ½ hours. Remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes or until the beef is tender and you’ve reached the right consistency.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and thyme and season with pepper. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.