Beef and beer pie #WeekendCooking

After my older son did his class craft, which was to make “mooncakes” using puff pastry and tangyuan, I was left with an extra sheet of puff pastry, and I wanted to do something for a meal with it.

So I found this recipe for Beef Guinness Pie from NY Times

It looked easy enough, although had an interesting link to trotter gear. Something that was new to me. I hadn’t heard of it before, have you?

Turns out, the pie recipe is from Jamie Oliver and Fergus Henderson (adapted by Sam Sifton for the NY Times), and Henderson is rather fond of using trotter gear in many of his restaurants’ dishes. It’s best described as a jellied broth made from pigs’ feet and vegetables.

I didn’t really fancy messing about with trotters, so luckily the recipe had a substitute – freshly grated cheddar cheese. That I found quite interesting. I can understand a jellied broth giving the unctuousness that this pie filling needs, but cheddar? Why have I never put cheddar into stews before? It really creates this silkiness that is quite delicious. I also adapted this recipe a bit as I didn’t have any stout but instead used a dark beer I had in the fridge. I only used one can of beer and added some stock instead (the recipe calls for two cans). Also, I cooked my stew on the stove top instead of the oven, and added in far more vegetables than the recipe calls for – two carrots and two ribs of celery to 3 pounds of meat seems a bit miserable. I increased it to five carrots and 6 ribs of celery.

After the filling cooks for a few hours, pop it into a pyrex dish, cover with the store-bought puff pastry (or follow the recipe for the crust), brush with egg wash, pop into the oven, and there you go, a comforting and delicious beef and beer pie for dinner!

Weekend Cooking was started by Beth Fish Reads and is now hosted by The Intrepid Reader and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

13 Comments

  1. Your variations are as interesting as the recipe itself. So many recipes are very short on vegetables!

    be well.. mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Mae! That is true, and people in general tend to eat far too little vegetables (or perhaps none at all)! Luckily there are some vegetables that my kids actually like eating.

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  2. I love beef pies, and I’m with you — a few more veggies would be good. I have puff pastry in the freezer, and may give this one a try — with the cheese!

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  3. Pig gear! I hadn’t heard of that either. I’ve been trying to challenge myself to become a more adventurous eater but organs and feet may still be going too far for me, too. I would definitely go with the cheddar cheese. I’ll stick to trying unusual, or new-to-me, vegetables for now. Your beef pie looks delicious!

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  4. Obviously this is not true for all Chinese people, but my last and current Chinese student lodger have had no interest in cooking and find this so sad because coming from two different cultures (mooncakes with puff pastry are such a good idea!) gives you so much more scope for experiment and you can see similarities between cultures as well as differences. I was thinking of the technical side of cooking with trotters, and on the flip side, how we don’t eat pies any more because my student can’t come to terms with savoury pastry (she is OK with sweet).

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    1. Oh that’s too bad! was it that they grew up in a family that didn’t cook much? Or their family just didn’t enjoy cooking? For me, my mum likes to cook and bake and try out new recipes. And her mum also liked to cook and eat and I guess that just got passed down to me.
      Although I don’t think I would want to cook with trotters. I have to draw a line somewhere!
      Also oh I love meat pies. And I do NOT understand why Americans have so many many amazing sweet pies but when it comes to meat pies it’s only chicken pies? I love the British beef pies and pork pies. Don’t understand this!!

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