Steak, Guinness and Mushroom Pie.
A very traditional commercial dish for the Winter with some lucrative variations.
Guinness goes well with the name, but any good stout is totally acceptable and you obviously can’t use the Guinness name if you are using Murphy’s.
Using a Pressure Cooker or a large Oven Cooking Pan with a lid.
Take one large onion, one large carrot and a good stick of celery, chop them into small pieces and fry them in the bottom half of the pressure cooker or cooking pan until soft.
Add 5 lbs of stewing steak and seal by gently turning over in the heated pan.
Add a generous pinch of mixed herbs, 1 bay leaf, a large spoon of tomato puree.
Add half a pint of Guinness or another stout.
Add I desert spoon of vinegar and a quarter of a pint of water.
Add a tea spoon of ground pepper or a good twist from a pepper mill and a touch of salt to flavour.
Stir well and put the lids on.
A very useful general additive used by the Swiss in my catering days is Knorr Arromat, we still use it as an excellent flavour enhancer.
Using the Pressure Cooker, bring to pressure for 20 minutes, release pressure and add quarter of a pound of chopped mushrooms, not finely chopped, otherwise they vanish and simmer for 15 minutes and thicken to suit with cornflour.
Using an Oven Cooking Pan, pre heated to Gas Mark 2, 300 F, (150 C), place in oven for two and a half hours allowing the stout to turn into a delicious sauce.
Remove the pan from the oven, add the mushrooms and simmer for 15 minutes and thicken.
Commercially we would allow this to cool and keep in a fridge until needed.
There are several ways of serving, you can place the mix in a shallow roasting tray and put a puff pastry or short crust pastry on the top, brushed with egg and cook in the oven at a high temperature until the pastry is golden brown and serve in portions.
My preferences, which are more flexible
- Pre cook a number of oval puff pastry lids, brushed with egg or milk and ensure that they are well risen and leave to cool. When needed put a portion Steak, Guinness Pie mix in a microwave until up to serving temperature, partially slice horizontally through a puff pastry lid and place in a hot oven for four minutes. Remove and place on a plate, ease the top of the pastry lid up without detaching it from the bottom half and spoon the hot Steak and Guinnes mix into the middle of the pastry, easing the lid down to the mix, make a small incision with a knife in the centre of the lid and insert a sprig of parsley for decoration.
- Take an small oval bowl the same size as the puff patry lids, fill with Steak and Guinness mix, place in a microwave for two minutes, remove and place a puff pastry or short crust pastry lid on the bowl, suitably painted with egg or milk and place in a very hot oven for eight minutes. In ten minutes you have a tailor made pie, the only drawback compared with the first method is cleaning the bowls, they have baked pastry stuck to them and it can slow the washing up process down on busy nights.
- There are two lucrative variations to this last method, having cooked your Steak Guinness and Mushroom Pie mix. If you get a packet of frozen mussel meat, add 6 mussels to your mix before it goes into the microwave and then place in the oven and you have Steak and Mussel Pie. The other variation is to buy a tin of smoked oysters and put two and no more than three oysters in the mix and you have Steak and Oyster Pie. I used to charge £6.95 for Steak and Guinness, £8.95 for Steak and Mussel and £10.95 for Steak and Oyster.
- If you want to use the slit lid method I would suggest that the mix after leaving the microwave is placed in a hot oven for five minutes for meats and juices to infuse.