There’s nothing like the smell of roasting garlic to make the creative juices (and saliva) flow! So here I sit, at 8:45 on a gorgeous Friday morning in sunny Phoenix, sorting out what to do with my day. Getting Lily off to school without a major tantrum feels like a huge accomplishment…I think I’ll reward myself with another BIG cup of coffee!
Georgie is fed, dressed, and getting antsy…as any 2 year old does when the clock is about to strike 9. Clearly my agenda for the day doesn’t matter as much as her need for some playtime outside; looks like I’ll have to take this show mobile and hit the playground (where would I be without my Blackberry??)!
Before I do, though, I wanted to let you know about a delicious dose of comfort food I indulged in this past weekend (wow, it is already a week ago?). I thought I would take advantage of a rare rainy Sunday here in Phoenix and make my family (including my in-laws who are visiting from the UK) something warm to fill their bellies. Selfishly, I wanted to be able to fill the house with that fabulous smell we all love…the holy trinity of soups, stews and love in general: onions, carrots and celery. Is there anything better?
Here’s the recipe for the wonderful Steak & Guinness Pie (adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe) I painstakingly whipped up last Sunday:
Steak & Guinness Pie
Beef brisket (1″ cubes)
Store bought puff pastry (defrost accordiny to package directions)
3 onions roughly chopped
Large sprig of rosemary (or 2T dried, if you don’t have fresh on hand)
3 cloves of garlic; minced
1 tbsp butter
3 sticks celery (diced)
3 carrot sticks (peeled & diced)
Field mushrooms (portabella); as many as you like; sliced
1 can Guinness
1 heaping tbsp flour
2 handfuls of shredded white cheddar cheese (I like to use a good quality sharp cheddar)
1 egg, beaten with a fork
1 package frozen peas
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Sautee onions in 1T olive oil in large pot. Cook until translucent. Add rosemary, garlic, carrots and celery. Stir to keep garlic from burning. Add mushrooms.
3. Add beef, pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cook until beef is browned.
4. Add whole can of Guinness. Add 1T of flour. Stir to incorporate thoroughly. Bring to boil.
5. Add beef stock – just enough to ALMOST cover beef. Cover and place in 350 oven for 2 hrs.
6. Stir in 1 handful shredded cheddar. Set stew aside.
7. Roll out puff pastry to 1/4″ thickness. Using an oven-safe dish (I like my circular Corningware), lay the pastry into the bottom of the pan, gently making sure it is all the way into the corners. Pour stew filling into the pastry.
8. Brush the outer edge of the puff pastry with the beaten egg. Roll out a 2nd piece of puff pastry to 1/4″ and trim to roughly the diameter of the dish in which you are cooking the pie. Lightly score (crosshatch) the dough.
9. Place remaining handful of shredded cheese on top of stew. Cover with scored pastry, pressing the ‘lid’ onto the base layer of pastry to seal. Brush the pastry ‘lid’ with beaten egg. Fold excess dough from bottom over the pastry ‘lid’ and brush with egg wash. Do not worry about even edges and perfection – go for a rustic, messy look!
10. Place pie in 350 oven for 40 minutes, or until pastry is golden.
11. Cook package of frozen peas in boiling water according to package instructions. Strain and return to pan. Toss with Fleurt Roasted Garlic Herb butter (or plain butter, pinch salt, fresh ground black pepper).
12. Scoop heaping spoonfuls of pie into shallow bowls and top with peas.