Well it is St. Patrick's Day so I am finally going to have to stop posting dishes for today...except for this last absolutely spectacular Guinness beef pot pie.
I make this every damn year for St. Patrick's Day, and everyone who has ever had it cannot stop eating it. And I am willing to bet it will go over the same when you make it.
And full disclosure, we eat this several times a year, Guinness beef pot pie is total comfort food, any day of the year.
What's in a Guinness beef pot pie?
I mean duh, Guinness. But this pot pie is like a double-baked potato, but with beef instead of the potato. That sounds like a ridiculous description, but it is what I can come up with.
How do you make it?
To start this, we use a chuck roast or pot roast cut of beef. This is like stew meat and is tough AF, so it needs to be braised, low and slow. Basically you are making a pot roast. Guinness, carrots, onions, garlic, tomato paste and beef stock all go into a roasting pan with the beef, covered with foil and slow cooked until the beef is totally tender and the fat is all melted. The beef will pretty much fall apart and the vegetables will be soft and creamy.
After braising the meat, you let it cool for a bit and then remove the meat from the pan and pull it apart - just like you'd do for pulled pork. You will be able to do this with a butter knife it will be THAT tender. Then I strain the sauce pouring through a colander to catch all the vegetables, and into a fat separator. If you don't have one of these, just pour into a bowl and skim the fat off the top.
After straining the sauce, you really have three options:
- You can thicken the sauce like a gravy, using some of the fat and flour to make a roux, then slowly adding the cooking liquid and watch it thicken up.
- Boil the cooking liquid to reduce it a bit and it will thicken, though you will end up with a slightly drier pot pie (but some people prefer it this way).
- Or do absolutely nothing to the cooking liquid and use as-is.
I almost always choose option 1 and make a roux for Guinness beef pot pie. I like a thick and rich sauce that kind of stick to the meat and vegetables. The recipe below uses this method, but feel free to adapt to what you prefer, using one of the other options I give.
How do you turn it into a pot pie though?
Glad you asked, after all of the above, put everything back into the roasting pan or a baking dish, mix it all up and top with puff pastry (or pie crust). And, you've done enough for this one, use store bought puff pastry, making your own just sounds exhausting and silly. Then you bake in the oven, again (hence why I compared it to a double baked potato) until it is browned and bubbly.
Listen, I know this sounds like a lot of work for a pot pie, but hear me out real quick. You can braise the beef ahead of time, like a few days ahead of time. In fact, you can freeze the the braised beef and all its veggies and liquid if you want. Also large amounts of this is time braising, so you don't have to actually be 'cooking' anything all the time. And, the payoff is huge, this pot pie is interesting, delicious and super comforting. People love it, I promise...I mean, beer in food...who's gonna say no to that?
Guinness beef pot pie
- 2-3 pound beef pot roast like a chuck roast
- 8 carrots left whole
- 6-8 stalks of celery left whole
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- a bunch of fresh thyme or use 3 teaspoons of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon of beef demiglace this is optional and only use if you have it on hand
- 1 can or 1 ½ bottles of Guinness the can is larger
- 3 cups of beef stock
To make gravy
- 4 tablespoons of cooking fat or use butter
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- all of the leftover cooking liquid if you don't have at least 3-4 cups use additional beef stock
For the pot pie
- 1-1 ½ sheets of puff pastry thawed, depending on the size of your baking dish
- 1 egg yolk or ¼ cup of heavy cream
- In a large(ish) roasting pan, combine the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, demiglace (if using), Guinness and beef stock. Whisk this together breaking up the tomato paste and demiglace into the liquid. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the vegetables into the roasting pan. Then season both sides of the pot roast and place it on top of the vegetables. If you r roasting pan has a cover, use it, if not cover the entire pan with foil. Braise in the oven for about 3 ½ hours. Check after 3 hours, the meat should pull apart with no effort and the fat should be basically melted off the beef. When meat is totally tender remove from oven and cool until you can handle it.
- Remove beef from roasting pan and pull apart, some larger chunk and some shredded. Strain the sauce, pouring through a colander to catch all the vegetables, and into a fat separator. If you don't have one of these, just pour into a bowl and skim the fat off the top, reserving at least four tablespoons. Take the vegetables and roughly chop what you can, the carrots will likely fall apart and that is totally fine.
- In a large saucepan, pour four tablespoons of reserved fat and heat over medium heat. Add four tablespoons of flour and whisk until bubbly and the raw flour smell is gone, it should smell nutty. Continuing over medium heat, slowly pour the strained beer and stock into the flour mixture, whisking constantly to combine. This will thicken and become basically a gravy.
- Turn the oven to 400.
- Back in your roasting pan, put the beef, veggies and gravy and stir to combine. Here you can either spoon mixture into individual baking dishes (liek the pictures) or you can use a large baking dish or even the just keep in the roasting pan. Whatever you do cover each with puff pastry to fit to the rim of the baking dish. You can brush the top of the puff pastry here with heavy cream or an egg yolk for a nice golden crust.
- Bake in the oven until the puff pastry has puffed, is brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges.
Not enough Guinness for you? Try these Guinness brownies for dessert!