Beef, Guinness & Mushroom Pie

It’s summer here in Brisbane.  I am telling you this because by looking at our current weather there is no way you would know it.  Brisbane summers are usually swelteringly hot!  And I mean the kind of heat that has you eating ice cream all day, standing directly in front of a fan seriously contemplating whether to make a bath full of ice to jump into.  Oh and it usually gets pretty humid as well, there are days when you feel as though you can literally spoon the air.  Brisbane heat waves can be torture, but after a long cool winter deep down we all crave that longed for summer heat that reminds us of school holidays, sunscreen, watermelon and mangoes!  As seasoned Brisbanites we usually escape the heat in the air conditioned comfort of the movie theatre or drive up/down the coast to our favourite beaches to swim and cool off in the cool blue ocean.  This summer however, I have done neither.

So far, this ‘summer’ our days have been cold, miserable, wet and awful!  Seriously, I am typing this post wearing a knitted cardigan!  I look out the window and rain is constantly drizzling from the sky and I see no sight of my beloved summer sun. 

On days like this when the weather is cool, constant rain begs you to stay in bed snuggled in your blanket watching dvd’s, I had to cook something to celebrate this weather and a pie will do just that.  I mean if Mother Nature wants to give me winter weather then I guess I had better do some winter cooking!  And in order to warm up our bodies and our spirits it has to be a pie full oh hearty, meaty, warming winter time flavour!  Beef, Guinness and Mushroom!

Making a pie instantly lifts the spirits of a home.  The aromas that waft from the stove top as a pot of beef, onions, garlic, stock, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce and Guinness Beer bubble away are incredible.  There is something so wonderful knowing that the stove top is slowly preparing your wonderfully nurturing meal whilst you’re snuggled on the sofa watching television drinking cups of tea.  Maybe this wintery weather isn’t so bad after all...

As the day drew on I could smell the bubbling pot of beef, Guinness and mushroom intensifying in flavour and once a thick, rich gravy had formed I pulled the tender and juicy pot of beef from the stove to cool a little before I transported the beef to a pie dish to be snuggled under a blanket of pastry.  After a little trip to the oven the pie had a gorgeous, flaky, buttery golden crust covering the bubbling, rich and tender beef and mushroom gravy.  

The only thing left for Rob and I to do was to pour two glasses of merlot and resume our positions on the sofa with a helping of warming and comforting beef, Guinness and mushroom pie.  Enjoy! K x

Beef, Guinness and Mushroom Pie

Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 57

1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 kg beef brisket, chopped into 6 cm pieces
1 brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups beef stock
1 ¾ cups Guinness Beer
2 tablespoons plain flour
300g Swiss brown mushrooms, halved
1 sheet of store bought puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan over high heat.  Add the beef and cook, in batches, for 4 minutes or until browned.  Set aside.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until softened.  Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and cook for a further 1 minute.  Return the beef to the pan with the sugar, stock and beer.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  Remove lid and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the beef is tender.  Remove the beef and shred with a fork.  Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from the heat, add the beef and mushrooms and stir to combine.  Refrigerate until cooled.
Preheat oven to 200°.  Spoon the filling into a pie dish and place the pastry on top, press the edges down to seal and brush with the egg wash.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Serves 4 - 6.

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