I am not much of a drinker. When I was at a pub in San Diego a couple weeks ago, and I drank a pint of Guinness, it was a Really Big Deal. Seriously. Even Chaim couldn’t believe it – and he was there.
But I love the flavor that alcohol gives to food, whether it’s red wine in a stew, beer in a chili, or whiskey in a marinade. Or this recipe, which is first marinated, and then cooked, in Guinness:
Beef and Guinness Pie
The Irish Pub Cookbook, Margaret Johnson
*note that this recipe has to be started the day before you plan to cook it.
2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups Guinness stout, divided
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
1 cup beef stock
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bouquet garni (a cheesecloth bag containing 3 sprigs fresh parsley, 1 sprig fresh thyme, 8 to 10 black peppercorns, and 1 bay leaf)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
3 to 4 large mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening, such as Crisco
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
To start the filling: In a large bowl or nonreactive pot, combine the beef, 2 cups of the Guinness, the garlic, and the bay leaves. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Drain the marinade and discard the garlic and bay leaves.
In a stockpot or large saucepan over medium heat, bring the marinated beef, the remaining 2 cups of Guinness, and the beef stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Add the celery, carrots, onion, salt, pepper, parsley, and bouquet garni and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly tender. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 1/2 cup cold water, and whisk until smooth, Stir into the filling, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the liquid is thickened.
To make the pastry: Combine the flour, salt, shortening, and butter in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse 4 to 5 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons of the ice water, pulse 4 to 5 times, and if needed, add the rest of the water and pulse again. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a circle 12 inches in diameter.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Remove the bouquet garni, and transfer the filling to a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Stir in the mushrooms, if using. Cover with the pastry, crimp the edges, and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush the top with the egg wash. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and the mixture is bubbling.