In honour of St. Paddy’s Day, I invited my friends over for a pot luck dinner. The theme for the dinner was green or Irish and we had a pesto green starter and several green desserts. I made individual steak and Guinness Pies and we also had a green hued potato and pea mash.
I confess. I’m not a huge fan of Guinness. I can drink it, but I find it heavy and savoury and pint or bottle is usually enough for me. I do however, enjoy it in a pie.
You will need a lidded pot for this recipe (I used a dutch oven) and a 6up muffin tin. This is not the time for a dainty cupcake tin. My muffin tin makes large muffins about 3 inches or 8 cm wide at the base. To measure out how wide I needed the pie cases, I first measured across the wall+base+wall of a muffin tin with the edge of a teatowel and matched this measurement across the mouth a bowl. This bowl became the “cookie cutter” for the pie case. To find a “cookie cutter” for the pie tops, measure a large cup over the mouth of the muffin tin. The cup needs to be a smidgen larger than the muffin top.
Individual Steak and Guinness Pies
Makes 6 pies
3 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg for glazing
500 grams (1 pound) rump steak
2 tablespoons butter
4 button mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
330ml (1 large can) Guinness beer (stout)
3 tablespoons flour
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
Pinch of salt
- Melt the butter in a heavy pot.
- Finely dice the onions, peel and dice the potatoes and cook for several minutes over a medium-low heat.
- Dice the steak and remove any fat or gristle. Add to the pot. Chop the rosemary and add to the pot.
- Slice mushrooms and garlic cloves and add to the pot. Turn up the heat and cook until beef is browned.
- Add most of the beer, saving a mouthful or so for your own speculation. The beer will foam up as you pour. Stir in the flour, salt and black pepper. Turn down the heat and cover with lid.
- Simmer on lowest heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and turn up the heat. Stir carefully making sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan and reduce the sauce until clings thickly to the meat. Make sure you do not burn the mixture. Taste the gravy and season if required. Turn off heat and get baking.
- Half an hour before baking time, preheat your oven to 200°C/390°F.
- Thaw 3 sheets of puff pastry. Measure your muffin tin and using a bowl (pie case) and a cup (pie top), cut out 6 pie cases and 6 pie tops to neatly fit your tin. Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray. I found that each sheet could fit 2 larger circles in diagonal corners, and 2 smaller circles in the other 2 diagonal corners. Make small pleats around the edge of each of the larger circles and fit the pastry neatly into each muffin cup.
- Divide the mixture into 6 portions and fill the cases with the meat filling. The pies should be filled level to the walls of the tin.
- Top each pie with the smaller circles of pastry. Cut 2 small slits into the top each pie to allow steam to escape. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each pie with beaten egg.
- Bake pies at 200°C/390°F for 30 minutes until puffed up and golden. Serve with peas and potato mash (or both for a festive green mash) or reheat as required.