Is there anything more fun than talking in an Irish accent? As I was cleaning the bathrooms earlier the movie Far and Away was in the background. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise talking all Irishy, makes me want to call customer service centers and ask them questions in an Irish accent. For now though, I’ll just talk to the dogs that way. When Tiffany and I first met, I called her and told her we should have an English day and talk like The Beatles. We ended up going out to eat at a restaurant and drinking beer for hours. We talked to everyone like we were from Birmingham, England. I already knew it was destiny the first time I saw her, but that pretty much sealed the deal.
6 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
2 onions, halved and sliced
225g medium size chestnut or button mushrooms, cut into quarters
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1kg braising steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 2.5cm chunks
5 tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large, oven-proof casserole dish and gently fry the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Remove the vegetables from the pan and place in a large bowl.
Place the seasoned flour in a bowl and toss the meat in it, a handful at a time. Heat a little more oil in the pan and fry the flour-coated chunks of meat over a medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Do this in batches, coating each new batch of meat in the flour and adding more oil to the pan when needed. Transfer the browned meat to the onion and mushroom bowl while you fry the rest.
When all the meat is browned, return everything to the casserole dish and pour over the Guinness. Add the bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently, partially covered for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce slightly thickened. Check the liquid level occasionally to make sure it doesn’t become too dry, adding a little water if necessary.
When cooked, remove from the heat and tip the mixture into a wide baking dish, at least 5cm deep. Allow to cool to room temperature or store in the fridge.
Roll out the pastry and cut out 6 circles, each about 10cm in diameter, and lay them on the beef mixture so they overlap slightly. Brush with the beaten egg.
When ready to bake and serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cook for 30 minutes or until the pastry is risen and golden and the pie heated through.