Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and brown the beef stew meat on all sides, about 10 minutes; set aside. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil then cook the bacon just until it begins to brown; stir in the onion, carrot, mushrooms, garlic and sugar. Cook the vegetables until soft and browned, 10 to 15 more minutes.
Stir in the flour until smoothly incorporated then gradually mix in the stout beer and beef stock. Mix in the thyme, bay leaves and the reserved cooked beef. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes; stir occasionally. Remove the cover, turn the heat up to medium and let the stew boil until slightly thickened, about 15 more minutes. Mix cornstarch with water and stir into the stew; let simmer for 30 more minutes to blend flavors. Remove from heat; discard bay leaves.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Spread the filling into a 23cm pie dish; trim the puff pastry into a larger circle and place on top of the filling. Pinch and crimp the edges of the pastry with a fork, sealing it to the dish; cut 2 steam vents into the pastry with a sharp knife. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg.
Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is browned, 30 to 40 minutes.
I used the filling and cooked it to its full length. Don't cut down on the time simmered and baked, because as the water evaporates the flavor only becomes more robust.
Modifications I made:
- Mash Potatoes in place of crust. More like a Shepherd's Pie. It's also cheaper. About 3lbs of yellow potatoes, boiled then mashed. 4 Tbshp of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream. Salt and Pepper to taste. (I don't use a blender for potatoes because it changes the dynamic of the mash) Chunks are good.
-Doubled the recipe because I had a feeling this would be a hit and for all the time you put in it, you might as well have plenty of leftovers.
- 2lbs of chuckeye with all the fat removed which probably made it about 1 1/2lbs of meat.
- Used one white onion, then 2 shallots.
- added about a 1lb of fresh cut up green beans.
- Baby Portabella Mushrooms in place of crimini and I added a little more than what it called for.
- Didn't add the sugar
- subbed bay leaf for sage.
- I also think you could add caraway seed or fennel seed, but didn't want to mess more than I did.
04 Apr 2011
(Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)