Beef, Guinness and Cheese Pie

May 6th, 2011
Jamie Oliver has a way with food that always surprises me.  He makes it look so easy and strikes down all of the conventional wisdom that I have always taken for granted.  This beef, Guinness and cheese pie is an Irish version of the English steak and kidney pie.  It includes two of the ingredients that Ireland is famous for, beef and Guinness Stout.
Jamie’s show, Jamie at Home, appears on the Cooking Channel.  His rustic kitchen and abundant garden are the scenes for all of his cooking.  He works fast and throws his dishes together with ease and aplomb.  While watching him make this beef pie I was amazed at how quickly it all came together.  He did not take time to brown the meat, which I always have done in batches.  He threw it all in the pot, swirled it around with the vegetables and then tore (rather than sliced up) his mushrooms and added them to the mix.  We have all gotten used to Ina Garten’s expression, “How easy is that?”  With Jamie it is “brilliant” and when a dish is finished and shown to the camera it is “Happy days”.
Even though he makes it look easy this dish did take a little time.  But I did feel liberated to be able to do a little dumping.  I cooked the onions for a long time to get them browned and caramelized, added the garlic and rosemary, the “knob” of butter, and then the chopped carrots and celery.  I cooked these for a few minutes, then dumped all of the beef into the pot, added the flour and swirled it around for a few minutes.  The Guinness Stout went in, I brought it to a boil. and put it in the oven to cook.  “Brilliant”.
The next step is the pastry.  This also is fairly easy.  Use two sheets of puff pastry rolled slightly to fit your dish.  Place one in the casserole and brush the edges with a beaten egg.  Lightly score the second piece.

Add the cooked stew to the casserole to which you have added a handful of white cheedar cheese and then sprinkle the top with another handful of white cheddar.  Place the second piece of pastry on the top and rustically seal and bunch the pastry together.  Give the pastry an egg wash and put it back in the oven to brown and puff.

Serve the beef pie with cooked peas.  “Happy Days”.  We loved this dish.  Here is Jamie’s recipe.

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.