When my friend Cathy first posted her famous Steak and Guinness Pie recipe, I thought it sounded fantastic. But really I had no idea, no inkling, not a single clue of the bacony savory deliciousness that awaited me.
This is Cathy’s recipe as it was given to me:
Steak and Guinness Pie
2.2 lb Round Steak (stew cubes)
1 T Flour
1 tsp Brown Sugar
5 Onions, chopped
300 ml Guinness
½ pkg Bacon (I use almost a whole one)
Deep Pie Crust (Pillsbury is best)
Time for cooking and prep: 3-3 ½ hours
Oven Temp 350*
Cut steak into bite-sized cubes, roll in seasoned flour (flour, parsley). Cut bacon into tiny pieces, cook and when at desired crispness add onion and beef until browned. Do not drain, unless it’s absolutely not your style. Place meat mix into deep casserole dish, add and mix in raisins (optional, makes for a sweeter taste 1 handful) and brown sugar. Pour in Guinness, cover dish lightly. Bake for 2 ½ hours in oven at 350* or simmer on low heat on stove top same time. Stir occasionally and add more Guinness as needed if gravy gets too thick. Line pie dish with ½ crust, bake it for 3-5 minutes without adding mix. Add beef mix, cover with other ½ pie crust and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve after cooling for a while, extremely hot! If you prefer a more sweet pie, use Murphy’s Irish Stout instead.
Now for my changes (just because that’s how I am). I used half pork stew cubes and half beef stew cubes. Partly because that’s what I had and partly because test subject Bill loves pork. I used about 12 ounces of my own homemade bacon (which is now gone, need to smoke some more….) I didn’t have parsley so I used a little bit of par-cel that I got in my CSA box. I did not use the raisins. And finally, since I’m Kitchen Kung Fu, I made the pie crust rather than used a purchased one (as per Chicken 3 1/2 ways).
I have to tell you, when I was staring down that ginormous pile of chopped onions I was thinking this is never going to work. This is going to be onion pie. Test subject Bill will ask me how to spell irroconcilable differences. But Cathy’s recipe was a classic, so I kept going. Cutting up all that bacon was a chore, but I was sure I was going to be rewarded. I did pour some of the resulting grease out of the pan, but only because my pork side that I made the bacon out of happened to be particularly fatty and there was a LOT of fat.
While I had the meat and onion mixture simmering on the stove, I got to work blending my flour and butter and salt for the crust. I knew there was no way I would be able to fit all that filling in a regular pie plate so I opted for a rectangular casserole dish, and I’m glad I did. I still couldn’t fit all the mix in when it came time to add. No worries, it didn’t go to waste.
As usual, I laid the bottom crust, baked at 350 for about ten minutes. Then I added the filling and the top crust and baked it for about another 15 minutes, maybe a little longer. I think it took longer because the size of my pie was bigger and the top crust was still a little cold. But when it was finally done a picture perfect golden brown and delicious meat pie emerged from the oven. It smelled the way a warm blanket on a winter evening feels.
While we didn’t think we could wait to dive in, we had to. We wrapped up the tempting finished pie and drove over to our friends’ house to share it with them. I figured the last thing I needed was a whole Steak and Guinness pie being added to my behind, so I should go have it added to multiple behinds.
To say it was a hit is a woefully sad understatement. Seconds were a given. The crust was a hit. The bacony, beefy, porky, not-offensive-oniony filling was a spiritual experience. Tender, just the right saltiness, and mixed with the crust…it cannot be properly expressed in the English language. I could have died then and there and have been satisfied. If I was carrying a piece of this pie, I would be able to get in the express line for heaven. Angels would be jealous.
I think this might be the best thing I ever made.