It’s time again for Blogger C.L.U.E.! Crazy how fast a month comes around again. This year seems to be flying by already.
My match up for March was the lovely Stacy at Food Lust People Love. I’ve had some time in the past to scroll through her impressive blog, and drool over my keyboard as I look at all the delectable dishes. The theme for March was Potatoes and as I perused through the pages and palate tempting pictures of food, I saw a few other potato recipes that would fit the bill…but then I saw this… Slow Cooker Beef and Guinness Pie which yelled PICK ME!
Guinness is a natural choice for March as we approach St. Patricks Day and this dish screams PUT POTATOES IN ME, or maybe that was my belly… hard to remember where the voices come from. Anyway, Stacy’s original recipe called for parsnips in place of the spuds but I thought it would be an easy and complimentary swap…and it worked beautifully.
Stacy’s Beef and Guinness Pie looked so scrumptious that I kept with the recipe almost to the letter (aside from swapping in the potatoes), except for adding a few dashes of worcestershire sauce.
- 5 slices bacon
- 2 lbs lean stew meat
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- teaspoon salt
- teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 large onion
- 1 large carrot
- 2 large potatoes
- 14 oz chopped tomatoes with their juice
- 1 can 14 oz bottle Guinness stout
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1-1.5 sheets puff pastry- depending on baking dish size. (I used 1 1/3 of the Pepperidge Farm)
- If the meat doesn't come already cubed, cut into bite sized pieces.
- Lay it out in a single layer on your cutting board and season it with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle it with the tablespoon and a half of plain flour and toss it around with your clean hands until well mixed. (Toss in flour right before you are ready to brown the meat)
- Peel and cut the potato and carrot into pieces. Chop your onion roughly.
- Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy in a non-stick pan. Remove the crispy bits from the rendered bacon fat and set aside.
- Brown the meat in the bacon fat until browned on all sides, so that the pan doesn’t get crowded. If you put too many pieces in at once, it will just steam instead of browning. As the batches get browned, remove and set them aside.
- When all the meat is done, everything can go into the slow cooker.
- Start with the meat, then add the onion, potato and carrot. Top with the bacon, thyme and bay leaf. Pour the canned tomatoes in and then the can of Guinness.
- Cook on high for three to four hours or until the beef is tender. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste.
- To turn the stew into pie, preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Spoon your beef and Guinness stew into a baking pan and allow it to cool a little while your oven preheats. I used a medium baking dish that held most of the beef and vegetables with a good amount of the broth from the crock pot. (Then you can thicken the rest of the broth with a little flour and serve it as extra gravy with the pie.)
- When your oven is up to temperature, cover the filled baking pan with your puff pastry. Fold the sides up so they don't hang over the edges. Press down all around the edges to seal the crust to the pan. Then brush egg wash over pastry.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden.
- To serve, scoop the stew into your bowl and top with the puff pastry.
Cut the bacon into 1/2″ pieces or so, before cooking.
Once the bacon is cooked, scoop the crispy bits out and set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the pan.
While the bacon is cooking, roughly chop the onion, peel and cut the potatoes and carrot(s) into large chunks. (I had to use 2 medium carrots in place of one large.)
I like to keep my carrot chunks as big as possible to they are easy to scoop out when they are cooked. It’s a weird little quirk, I know, but I just can’t eat cooked carrots. LOVE them raw, but have to fish them out as soon as I grab myself a serving. They are important to use while cooking though, as they add a good deal of flavor.
Season your meat well with salt and pepper.
Make sure you toss the beef in the flour right before you cook it. You don’t want to do this ahead at all as the moisture mixes with the flour and it can become gummy and won’t sear properly.
When ready, sprinkle the flour on the beef and toss with your hands to make sure the pieces are evenly covered.
Using the bacon fat left in the pan, cook the meat in small batches to prevent overcrowding, which won’t let the meet brown properly and you’ll end up with steamed, gray meat.
Layer the crock pot starting with the beef (I put a little drizzle of olive oil on the bottom of the pan.)
Then add the carrots, potatoes and onion.
Add the bacon, bay leaf, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour over the chopped tomatoes, and the worcestershire sauce, then top with the Guinness.
Let the mixture cook in the slow cooker for 3 -4 hours on high. Check and taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper, add to taste.
Preheat the oven to 400.
While waiting, transfer the stew into a baking dish. I scooped out the meat and vegetables first and add the liquid at the end. Be careful not to overfill your baking dish with liquid, leave about an inch below the edge of the baking dish.
Take the defrosted puff pastry sheet and arrange over the baking dish so that the edges are folded over into the dish and don’t hang over the edge. Cut a few slits in the top of the dough. (I used an egg wash to make it a little shinier.)
Cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
I suggest enjoying your scoop of Slow Cooker Beef and Guinness pie with a nice, cold pint of Guinness. It rounds out the flavors so nicely, and heck– when can you ever go wrong with a glorious Guinness?
Make sure you hop through and check out all the Blogger C.L.U.E. buddies. You’ll find some inspiring ideas for sensational spuds this month!
Be sure to check back on the second Wednesday of every month for the big reveal. We have a lot of fun with this and hope you enjoy it, too.
- Bacon Wrapped Potatoes w/ Sriracha Sauce by Debra from Eliot’s Eats
- Bacon-wrapped Smashed Redskin Puffs by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
- Balsamic Roasted Fingerling Potatoes by Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Basil Lime Gin Gimlet by Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Cheddar Scallion Potato Buns by Lora from Cake Duchess
- Chicken Pot Pie by Heather from girlichef
- Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup by Kim from Liv Life
- Chocolate, Coconut, Butterscotch and Oatmeal Cake Cookies by Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
- Daisy’s Noisette Potatoes by Janet from Cupcakes to Caviar
- Honey Dijon Roasted Potato Salad by Ramona from Curry and Comfort
- Irish Brown Bread by Kathy from Bakeaway with Me
- Irish Old Fashioned Cocktail by Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Okie Peasant Potato Soup by Christiane from Taking on Magazines
- Potato and Celery Root Puree by Lea Ann from Cooking on the Ranch
- Potato and White Bean Soup with Sage by Kathy from A Spoonful of Thyme
- Potato Rolls by Kelli from Kelli’s Kitchen
- Potatoes O’Brien by Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch
- Slow Cooker Beef and Guinness Pie by Anna from annaDishes
- Smoked Salmon Chowder by Jean from Lemons and Anchovies
- Tchertma (Zucchini and Eggs) by Kate from Kate’s Kitchen
- Thin Crispy French Fries by Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake