We had a box of mushrooms one time that needed to be used up fast. It was expiring a day later. Since I have a handy ready made puff pastry and some beef in the fridge, I thought I'd adapt this recipe I found from the BBC Food website. It suggested ale (a type of beer) in which the Guinness sitting in my pantry came in handy. Btw, Guinness beer is actually a 'stout' which is a class of ale beers. Whether you use an ale or stout or porter, it will do well in this dish.
As for the pastry, I didn't have any pie funnel or pie vent so I just cut some holes on the top to let the steam rising from the meat filling out so as not to make the pastry soggy. It wasn't in the instructions I just thought of it as common sense. And it worked! :)
Beef, Ale and Mushroom Pie
1 kg stewing beef - cut into roughly 1-inch squares
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion - diced
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp mushroom ketchup (optional)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp chopped parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp English mustard
1 tsp sea salt
freshly milled black pepper
2/3 cup beef stock
1/2 cup ale (or Guinness)
250 g mushrooms - sliced
450 g puff pastry
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot and saute onion gently until translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in beef and cook until browned.
- Add in the flour, cook until dark brown (about 1 minute).
- Mix in the mushroom ketchup, Wostershire sauce, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
- Slowly add beef stock and ale, bring to boil.
- Add mushrooms and lower heat to simmer gently until beef is tender (about 1 1/2 hours). If it is drying out too much add hot water or beef stock a little at a time.
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6.
- Remove beef from heat, skim off any fat, adjust seasonings and add more fresh chopped parsley if available.
- Roll out puff pastry and invert the pie dish(es) to be used onto it. Cut out a cover for the dish using the shape of the pie dish as outline. If you do not have a pie funnel, cut out holes in the pastry cover to let the steam from the filling to escape and not make the pastry soggy.
- Put in the whole lot (beef + sauce) in a medium sized pie dish or individual pie dishes. Cover pie dish with the prepared pastry and trim edge by hand or with tines of a fork.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is well risen and golden brown.