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!
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