The Ultimate Steak and Guinness Pie

A rich and tender steak and Guinness stew topped with sour cream and chive mashed potato, all finished with a layer of cheese and flaky pastry!

I think this may be the pie to end all pies. It truly has it all and once you give it a go, I know it’s going to go on repeat! Follow me…

close up shot of spatula lifting portion of steak and guinness pie from baking dish

Steak Pie

I know it’s called a ‘steak’ pie, but don’t worry, you don’t need to buy any fancy cuts of steak. ‘Steak’ pie just refers to it being a chunky beef pie.

What kind of beef should I use?

You’ll want a cut of beef that’s suitable for braising/slow cooking. My choice is always beef chuck, which you’ll find in all butchers and some supermarkets. If not, anything else that has marbled fat and is suitable for slow cooking will work. The marbled fat is important as it ensures the beef stays tender over the long cooking time. Do not use lean beef! It will come out dry and chewy.

Preparing the beef

This happens in two stages:

  • Slicing – slice the beef into fairly large bite-sized pieces. Larger chunks will be more robust throughout the cooking process (they’ll break down as they cook).
  • Seasoning – whilst the beef will soak in some flavour from the gravy, it’s always a good idea to season the meat directly before cooking.

Frying the beef

I like to sear the beef before it simmers, just to develop a bit more flavour. You’ll want to work in batches and over a very high heat. You don’t need to cook the beef at this point, just brown the outside. Doing this will also create ‘fond’ in the base of the pot, which in turn adds more flavour to the gravy.

Process shots: slice and season beef (photos 1&2), fry in batches (photos 3&4).

4 step by step photos showing how to prepare steak guinness pie

Steak and Guinness Pie Filling

First things first – I do not like drinking Guinness. Stick with me here 😂

Why use Guinness?

The flavour of the Guinness actually mellows quite significantly as the filling cooks, so it doesn’t actually taste much of Guinness at all. Instead, the Guinness helps to create a deep rich savoury flavour to the stew. Don’t worry, the alcohol will also burn off too.

Simmering the filling

Giving the stew a nice long simmer is important for a few different reasons:

  • Beef – a long and low simmer will help tenderise the beef.
  • Flavour – it gives time for all of the flavours to condense and marry together.
  • Thickening – simmering will reduce and thicken the sauce.

Thickening the filling

We’re going to simmer the filling first with the lid on and then with the lid off. Taking the lid off allows the steam to escape and gives an opportunity for the filling to reduce and naturally thicken. Thickening the filling is important. If it’s too watery the mash will simply collapse into it. Not a huge deal if it does, but it’s nice to have separate layers.

Process shots: fry bacon (photo 1), fry onion, carrot, celery and garlic (photo 2), stir in flour (photo 3), add beef stock, Guinness, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, thyme and bay leaves (photo 4), stir (photo 5), simmer to thicken (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make beef Guinness pie filling

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potato

Not only is sour cream and chive a match made in heaven, but it works so delightfully in this recipe.

Having a slightly ‘lighter’ mash in this recipe is nice as the filling is pretty rich. I say ‘lighter’ in quotations because there’s still 6 tablespoons of butter in it 😅 The chives also work nicely for a gorgeous burst of flour.

Steam drying the potatoes

Once you’ve boiled the potatoes, allow them to steam dry for a little while to remove some moisture. You want the mash fairly firm otherwise it’ll sink into the filling as it bakes.

Process shots: boil potatoes (photo 1), drain (photo 2), add butter, milk, sour cream, chives and s&p (photo 3), mash (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make sour cream chive mash

Steak and Guinness Pie

Okay, mash and filling done, time to stack.

Cooling the filling

Once you add the filling to the baking dish it is essentially that you let it cool. This is so a skin forms which works as a protective layer to help prevent the mash from sinking in. I actually usually make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge, just to properly firm it up.

When you add the mash just gently plonk it on then smooth over the top. After that, it’s time for the Cheddar cheese. Not only does this of course add flavour, but I find it adds a protective layer between the mash and the pastry. I first tested this with no cheese and found the mash stuck slightly to the pastry, preventing it from puffing up to its full potential.

Process shots: cool filling (photo 1), add mash (photo 2), smooth until flat (photo 3), add cheese (photo 4), add puff pastry, slice steam holes and brush with egg wash (photo 5), bake (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make steak and Guinness pie

Steak and Guinness Pie FAQ

Do I have to add Guinness?

This is a key ingredient (as you can imagine in a steak and ‘Guinness’ pie) so definitely don’t substitute it. The alcohol will burn off and the flavour mellows significantly. I believe they also make zero-alcohol Guinness though if you can’t use alcohol in any capacity (although I haven’t tried it myself I’m assuming it’s very similar!).

Do I have to add the pastry?

I love mash with my pie, so the pastry makes sense to me. I’m sure it’ll still be delicious without though.

How do I know when the pie is cooked?

The pastry will turn very deep golden and will be visibly crisp. The filling will also start bubbling and leaking around the edges.

steak guinness potato pie in baking dish with scoop taken out showing filling

Serving Steak and Guinness Pie

Once the pie is done, just let it sit for 5 or so minutes before serving. Just to let it reform its shape (and so you don’t lose the roof of your mouth).

This is a very hearty pie so you don’t need sides. But you could add some Green Beans or Broccolini if you wanted to.

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this steak and guinness pie shall we?!

portion of steak and guinness pie on small white plate with green beans

How to make Steak and Guinness Pie (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of spatula lifting portion of steak and guinness pie from baking dish

Print

The Ultimate Steak and Guinness Pie

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A rich and tender steak and Guinness stew topped with sour cream and chive mashed potato, all finished with a layer of cheese and flaky pastry!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 910kcal
Cost £3 / $4

Equipment

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Deep Pot with Lid (for beef guinness stew)
  • Tongs & Wooden Spoon
  • Jug (for stock)
  • Large Baking Dish (mine is 12×9″ / 30x22cm)
  • Large Baking Tray (to place underneath baking dish)
  • Colander & Potato Masher (for mash)
  • Cheese Grater
  • Small Pot & Brush (for egg wash)
  • Serving Spoon

Ingredients

Beef and Guinness Filling

  • 1kg / 2lb Beef suitable for braising/slow cooking (see notes)
  • 1 tsp Salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, plus more as needed
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil, or as needed
  • 150g / 5oz Back Bacon, diced
  • 200g / 7oz Carrots, diced into small chunks
  • 100g / 3.5oz Celery, diced into small chunks
  • 1 large White Onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 40g / 1/4 cup Plain Flour
  • 600ml / 2 1/2 cups Beef Stock
  • 1x 440ml / 14.8fl oz can of Guinness (see notes)
  • 75g / 1/4 cup Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar (preferably dark brown sugar)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 sprigs of Fresh Thyme

Mashed Potato

  • 1.5kg / 3.3lb Baking Potatoes, peeled and diced into chunks
  • 6 tbsp / 90g Butter, closer to room temp the better
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Sour Cream, at room temp
  • 60ml / 1/4 cup Whole Milk, at room temp
  • 1x 20g/0.7oz bunch of Fresh Chives, finely diced
  • 3 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste

Pie

  • 150g / 5oz Cheddar, grated
  • 1x 320g/11oz sheet of Puff Pastry
  • 1 Egg, beaten

Instructions

  • Trim any aggressive bits of fat from the beef then dice into fairly large bite-sized pieces. Coat in 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  • Add 1 tbsp oil to a large deep pot over high heat. Once hot, add half of the beef and sear until brown all over, then remove from the pot. You’re not looking to cook the beef at this point, this is just to develop flavour on the outside. Repeat with the second batch, adding more oil as needed.
  • Lower the heat to medium and fry the bacon until it begins to crisp and leak out fat (add more oil if needed). Add the onion, carrot and celery and fry until it all begins to soften and lightly colour. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
  • Stir in the flour then stir in half of the stock until it blends with the flour. Stir in the rest of the stock alongside all of the Guinness. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, sugar, thyme, bay leaves and cooked beef (alongside all the resting juices). Give it a good stir and bring it to a simmer.
  • Once simmering, turn the heat to low, add on the lid and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 35-40 minutes, or until the consistency is a thick gravy and the beef is tender. Stir somewhat frequently to ensure a skin doesn’t form on top of the beef and around the pot. Check for seasoning and adjust if desired.
  • Pour the filling into the baking dish, plucking out the thyme stalks and bay leaves as and when you find them. Leave to rest for AT LEAST 30 minutes to cool and form a skin on top. I recommend an hour or even overnight in the fridge if you can (see notes).
  • As the filling cools, you can crack on with the mash. Add the diced potato to a large pot of cold water and stir in 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes until fork tender. Drain them in a colander and leave them to sit for 5 minutes. This is important to allow the steam to escape.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
  • Add the potatoes back into the pot and mash with butter, sour cream, milk, chives and salt and pepper (I use 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper but work to taste). Dollop by dollop gently add the mash on top of the filling. Smooth over the mash to close any gaps and ensure the top is completely level. If the mash is still piping hot, just let it cool for a few more minutes. If it’s steaming hot the pastry won’t crisp up properly. Sprinkle over the cheese, then add the pastry and brush with egg wash. Slice 4-5 steam holes in the top.
  • Place the dish on top of a baking tray (important to catch any leakage) then place in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is deep golden and crispy, with the filling bubbling around the edges.
  • Rest for 5 or so minutes before tucking in!

Video

Notes

a) Beef – I recommend something like beef chuck, but most types of casserole/braising/slow-cooking cuts of beef with marbled fat will work. Don’t use lean cuts of steak/beef, it’ll dry out! The marbled fat is essential. Also, I don’t recommend buying the packs of pre-cut small pieces. Larger bite-sized pieces will hold up better over the longer cooking time.

b) Filling – The filling will be quite watery once you take the lid off, but it will thicken up as you simmer without the lid. It’s important to thicken it up so the mash can rest on top. The cooling part is also very important, as this is what helps prevent the mash from sinking into the filling. 

c) Mash – Don’t mash the butter, milk and sour cream into the potatoes right out of the fridge. You want them all resting at room temp as you prep everything else. Warmer milk etc blends into the potato with much more ease. Also, make sure you season the mash generously! Nothing worse than bland mash on a yummy filling. Finally, just make sure you let the potatoes steam dry for 5 or so minutes. This will make sure the mash doesn’t come out too sloppy, which in turn prevents it from collapsing into the filling. Also, it cools down the potatoes, which is important. If the mash is still piping hot, the pastry won’t crisp up properly.

d) Prepping ahead – Here are some options for you to prepare the pie ahead of time:

  • Filling – I typically always make the filling ahead of time. Not only to get ahead of the game, but the the filling will taste even better after resting overnight! Just allow it to completely cool in the baking dish then tightly store in the fridge overnight. From there, I recommend getting it out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before stacking, just to take the chill out of the centre and help it cook through evenly.
  • Filling + Mash – Make sure both the filling and mash are completely cool, then stack the mash on top of the filling, add cheese and tightly store in the fridge. Important the mash and filling are both cool before stacking.  From there, again, try to get it close to room temp before finishing with pastry + egg wash and baking in the oven. You can also freeze and thaw in the fridge before baking. I leave off the pastry because it’s best cold straight out of the fridge.

e) Calories – Whole recipe divided by 8.

Nutrition

Calories: 910kcal | Carbohydrates: 65.51g | Protein: 42.16g | Fat: 52.63g | Saturated Fat: 18.589g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.691g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20.292g | Trans Fat: 0.999g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 1156mg | Potassium: 1694mg | Fiber: 6.4g | Sugar: 7.32g | Vitamin A: 4857IU | Vitamin C: 42.9mg | Calcium: 224mg | Iron: 6.29mg

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The post The Ultimate Steak and Guinness Pie appeared first on Don’t Go Bacon My Heart.

A rich and tender steak and Guinness stew topped with sour cream and chive mashed potato, all finished with a layer of cheese and flaky pastry! I think this may be the pie to end all pies. It truly has it all and once you give it a go, I know it’s going to go…

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