In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a hearty beef stew surrounded by a buttery crust made with a nice local stout seemed like the right thing to do. How can you go wrong with tender chunks of beef and hearty vegetables in a rich, luscious gravy surrounded by puff pastry?
I don’t know about you, but when I order a pot pie and discover it’s only crusted on top, I feel duped, swindled … hoodwinked even. Not cool. So, you can bet your bottom dollar my pot pie has a crust on all sides.
However, I did take one shortcut and used store-bought puff pastry. I wanted just a little time-saving assistance. As it is, this recipe still takes a bit of time. It’s definitely made for a weekend cooking session, not a weeknight. But trust me, take the time, you won’t regret it. And, if by all means, you have the extra time, make the crust from scratch. Just be sure to save me a bite.
For me, this recipe all starts with the beer. The stout is what imparts the creaminess to the gravy. Normally I use classic Guinness in my beef stew creations, however this time I chose to up the roasted depth of flavor and creaminess by instead using Kent Falls Coffee Milk Stout. Kent Falls Coffee Milk Stout is brewed with Connecticut grown and malted barley, a selection of roasted malts, and the addition of lactose (milk sugar) before conditioning on coffee from Sacred Grounds in Sherman, CT.
Even if it’s not Saint Patrick’s Day, this is a meal that will warm your belly and your spirits. Slainte!
Irish Beef & Stout Pot Pie
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 pounds chuck roast trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups beef broth
- 1 large shallot roughly chopped
- 1 medium parsnip peeled and diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 12 ounces fingerling potatoes diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/4 cups stout beer
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 large puff pastry sheets thawed per box instructions
- 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large ziplock bag. Toss the beef in the flour mixture. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the coated pieces of beef, in small batches, and cook until lightly browned on all sides. (Add 1 more tablespoon oil and heat until hot if needed between batches). Remove beef with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot and heat. Add the shallot and saute for approximately 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic. Saute for another 2 minutes.
- Deglaze pot by adding 1/4 cup broth and stir, scraping up any remaining beef bits and flour.
- Add the carrots, parsnip, and potatoes. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Place the browned beef pieces back into the pot. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, stout and remaining beef broth. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture beings to boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer the stew with the lid slightly askew, stirring occasionally, until the beef is fork tender, about 90 minutes.
- While the stew simmers, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square. Press the pastry into a 2 1/2-quart round casserole dish. Trim the excess pastry. Prick the pastry thoroughly with a fork. Place aluminum foil onto the surface of the pastry.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil. Set aside.
- Once the beef is cooked, stir in the frozen peas. Then, using a slotted spoon, scoop the stew mixture into the pre-baked crust in the casserole dish. Add enough of the remaining gravy to not quite cover the filling.
- On a lightly covered floured surface roll out the remaining puff pastry sheet to about one inch larger than the diameter of the casserole dish.
- Using your finger, dampen the rim of the filled crust with a little of the egg yolk/water mixture. Drape the pastry sheet over the top of the baking dish, leaving at least 1/2 inch overhang. Crimp, press and seal the pastry top crust to the bottom crust. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slashes in the top to vent. Brush the top with the egg yolk mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy!
Photos by Renato Ghio