So, my son wanted Guinness stew for his 21st birthday. Not knowing how exactly it differed from my normal beef stew recipe, we did some research. As it turns out, Guinness stew is very similar to my beef stew — though quite a bit thicker … and flavored with Guinness. Eventually, I stumbled upon an incredible recipe from Jamie Oliver who included cheese and a crust in his version. I quickly followed suit. How could I not? Cheese? Crust? Yeah!
I did, however, use some variations in ingredients (porcini, for example) and technique. This gal is a huge fan of porcini as they lend a good deal of umami to a dish. Porcini mushrooms are something I frequently use to boost flavor and sometimes meaty texture to savory dishes. If you’re not looking to add or alter texture to a dish, dried porcini can be ground into a powder and used to simply boost flavor without altering texture.
Additional Notes: This recipe uses store-bought, frozen puff pastry. Personally, I can’t make it better than store-bought. So, I save myself the time and hassle by purchasing it. If you can make it better from scratch, I fully encourage that endeavour – and request the recipe!
Even store-bought puff pastry needs to be rolled out. Also, it often cracks when unfolded. When this happens, simply brush the pieces with water and press them together with your fingers. Dust lightly with flour and continue to roll out. It’s like super glue for dough!
Finally, sometimes I’ll add peas at the same time the cheese is added. Or, it’s also great served with a side of mashed potatoes and peas. This is sort of like a very dense and concentrated beef stew. It is a truly incredible experience.
I’m now imagining the meat filling used in a hand pie…
1 ½ ounces dried porcini
2 tablespoons bacon fat or cooking oil
3 medium onions (about 1 ½ pounds), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 carrots (about 6 ounces), diced
2 stalks celery (about 6 ounces), diced
2 pound chuck roast, trimmed, ¾” cubes
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon table salt (or 1 teaspoon kosher salt)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can (14.9 ounces) Guinness
2 ½ tablespoons flour
5 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take puff pastry from freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature while the beef is cooking.
- Boil water, remove from heat, and soak porcini for 10 minutes to rehydrate.
- In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Pat meat dry to allow for better browning. Add half of the beef and brown on all sides – about 8 minutes. Repeat with other half. Remove beef from Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onions to the now-empty pot and cook for about 10 minutes, just until they soften and begin to brown, stirring occasionally.
- Remove mushrooms from liquid (reserving liquid) and dice. Add the garlic to the pot, stirring for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Saute for 1 minute. Add flour and stir until no dry flour remains – about 30 seconds. Add beef, rosemary, salt, pepper, Guinness, the reserved porcini liquid, and enough water to cover the meat.
- Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid and bake in the oven for about 2 hours, stirring midway through baking time. The meat should be tender and the broth should be very thick.
- When the beef is fully cooked and tender, remove from the oven. Mix in the cheese and place entire mixture into a deep dish pie pan, 2-quart casserole or 12-inch cast iron skillet.
- Dust the countertop with flour and roll the pastry to the size of your baking vessel. I use a 12-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe. Again, you could also use a deep dish pie pan or 2-quart casserole.
- Place the pastry over the top of the pie pan, casserole, or skillet, tucking under the edges. Brush the top with beaten egg. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the pastry is fully cooked and golden brown.