A Manly Meal for the first Fall Chill
It’s not exactly freezing but it is the time of year when I start thinking about meals that, for lack of a better word are ‘manly’. This wonderfully robust pie is something I wrote about in a very early entry on this blog. In addition to the advertised Steak and Guinness, the filling includes lots of onions, carrots, celery. But the unmentioned ingredients at the heart of this creation are a rich mélange of meat and mushrooms and Cheese—glorious English Cheddar. And it’s all yours to discover when the perfect puff pastry topping is lifted. Well over 3500 people have visited this recipe. And it’s from a Chef I admire as much for his caring as I do for his cooking.
Jamie Oliver is someone to admire.
If you have followed his career, you can’t help but be impressed. Started cooking at his father’s pub at 8. Culinary School at 16. Enormously successful TV personality, “The Naked Chef”, in his 20s. Now, at the ripe old age of 46, he’s working with unemployed young people at his not-for-profit restaurant/cooking school “Fifteen”. He is also determined to get junk food out of British school lunchrooms. No wonder he was on the Queen’s Honors List in 2003. He received his M.B.E for service to the Crown. Unfortunately, Jamie has gone through what the Brits label ‘a rough patch’. His restaurant empire failed, taking with it many jobs (estimated at 1000.). Nevertheless, Jamie soldiers on buoyed no doubt by this: Oliver is the second-best-selling British author, behind J.K. Rowling, and the best-selling British non-fiction author since records began. As of February 2019, Oliver has sold more than 14.55 million books, generating just under £180m ($250m US)for the chef.
“Jamie at Home” (Hyperion 2008) is a good read and a great recipe source.
As an inveterate reader of cookbooks, the recipes are what makes the difference to me. “Steak, Guinness and cheese pie with a puff pastry lid” seemed to perfect dinner for a cold fall night. I love a good braise. I loved the idea that once you’ve prepared the pie, you’re advised to serve it with some simple, buttered peas. And so here it is, with some changes from what appeared in “Jamie at Home”. What changes? Fundamentally, the oven temperature was too hot for the first part of the cooking. So I lowered it. And the original recipe called for 4 field mushrooms. I upped that number to 10 ounces. I was really pleased with the results. A beautiful puff pastry crust and a densely rich filling make portion control a really good idea here. I think you could serve 8 easily with one 9 inch pie. It’s worth every moment it takes to cook. And here it is:
Jamie Oliver's Steak and Guiness Pie
This wonderfully robust pie is a rich melange of steak, stout and glorious English Cheddar.
- Olive Oil
- 3 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp butter plus extra for greasing the pie plate
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stocks, trimmed and chopped
- 10 oz. of baby Bella mushrooms *
- 2.2 lbs of beef brisket, cut into ¾ inch cubes
- A couple of sprigs of fresh Rosemary, leaves removed from the stem and chopped
- 1 – 1 Pint Can or bottle of Guinness (no lager, please)
- 2 heaping tbsp flour
- 7 oz. of cheddar cheese, freshly grated and divided in two.
- 1 lb of store-bought puff pastry
- 1 large egg
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 2 In a large, ovenproof casserole, heat a glug of olive oil on low heat.
- Step 3 Add the red onions and sauté them very slowly for about 10 minutes.
- Step 4 Turn the heat up and add the garlic, butter, carrots, celery, half the cheese and then scatter in the mushrooms. Mix all the vegetables together and then add the beef, the rosemary a pinch of salt, and a level teaspoon of black pepper.
- Step 5 Sauté the beef and vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Step 6 Pour in the Guinness, stir in the flour and if necessary, add enough water to cover.
- Step 7 Bring the dish to a simmer
- Step 8 then cover the casserole with its lid and put it into the oven.
- Step 9 Bake for an hour and a half, then take the casserole out of the oven, check to see that there’s enough liquid, stir and put it back in the oven for another hour or until the meat is very tender. The pie filling should be rich, dark, and thick. If necessary, reduce the liquid on the top of the stove. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat and then add the second half of the cheese and stir. At this point, you can put the pie filling aside or proceed. (I made the filling then chilled it, and made the pie another day.)
- Step 10 To assemble the pie, take two 9 X 9 sheets of puff pastry out of the freezer and thaw for 40 minutes.
- Step 11 Prepare a pie dish by greasing it with butter or a non-stick spray like Pam.
- Step 12 Dust a clean work surface with flour, and then roll one sheet of puff pastry out till it is about 1/8 inch thick. Put that sheet on the bottom of the pie plate and let the pastry droop over the sides.
- Step 13 Gently fill the pie with the beef and vegetable filling.
- Step 14 Take the second sheet of puff pastry. Roll it out and then take a sharp knife and carefully score the crust in a cross-hatch pattern.
- Step 15 Make an egg wash and brush it over the edge of the bottom pastry.
- Step 16 Gently place the cross-hatched crust on top of the pie. Put the pie on a sheet pan placed on the bottom of your oven. Bake for an additional 45 minutes. This gave me a beautifully cooked crust–better than any puff pastry I’d ever cooked before.
- Step 17 *Baby Bella mushrooms have more flavor than plain white mushrooms but you can certainly use them if no Baby Bellas are available. This was very well received. I did follow Jamie’s advice and served it with some frozen peas, one of my favorite vegetables.