11 Mar 2019


Slow braised steak and guinness pie with the most outstanding Marriage Proposal award winning suet crust pastry.

This recipe is very dear to me, firstly it is my most top favorite dinner that my Nan used to make for me, the memories start with the original recipe from my Nan and Nan got it from her mum, it is one of those wonderful recipes of history, I do not know if my Great Granny Rebbeca got this recipe from her mum but I do know my Nan was a great cook who moved with the times hence the curry powder, I won't tell you about Nan's experimental Malibu gravy roast chicken though!

Nan did not make this as a pie, we had this a braised dish with the most creamy buttery mashed potatoes that Nan always put a hint of vinegar in, turns out that the vinegar lowers the absorption of carbohydrates.  The very special part of this dinner was my Nan's brown 1950's tea mug that she filled with extra braised gravy stock for me to drink with my meal, I always eat this meal with a spoon, this is so I can get the maximum amount in my mouth each time!  Wonderful memories every mouthful :-)

Growing up in a rural, local village pub where my parents sourced and served outstanding honest food, Nan’s braised steak and Guinness was now a pie and suet steamed pudding, this was my parents top selling dish and it is still my mums number one dinner!  When I was 18yrs old I made this dish for my now husband as this pie, this was a deal sealer and resulted in a proposal of marriage, 28 yrs later this is still my husbands and my favourite dinner, with or without the unbelivevable suet pastry.

I always make extra for leftovers, double dinners, if your are putting the time in to slow cook, always make extra as this is not only time efficient but also cost effective and you have another dinner to go from the freezer.
(makes 10 portions)

1 kg chuck/braising steak 2" square chunks
700g trimmed weight lambs kidney rough chopped (optional)
2 onions finely chopped
2 sticks celery fine chopped
2 carrots finely chopped
1 glug of ooil
knob of butter
500g rich beef stock
4 cans of Guinness 
1 tsp salt and black pepper
2 tbsp mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
4 bay leaves
2 tbsp ground black pepper

(This makes 2 pie top crusts)
330g supreme self raising flour
100g cold butter grated
130g atora suet
Water as needed (150ml+)
1 tsp salt and white pepper 

Make the pastry first so that it can rest in the fridge.  Place all the ingredients except the water in a large bowl and very gently mix, you do not want to over work the mix as this will make it rubbery and this pastry is the best ever because it is light and crispy with a flakey texture finished off with a hint of almost dumpling texture underneath, that soaks up the gorgeous braise steak gravy.  Add the water a glug at a time probably overall 150ml and just crush the pastry mix together, wrap in paper and plonk in the fridge until needed.  


Heat a deep casserole dish on the stove and melt the butter and ooil, gently fry the onion, celery and carrot until soft, add the diced beef and brown all over, then add all the seasoning from the mustard powder to the black pepper along with the stock and Guinness.

Bring to a gently simmer, pop a lid on, keep the heat ticking over for around 3-4 hrs or pop in the oven or slow cooker until the beef falls apart when you touch it.  Lesson learned you can not rush this recipe in a pressure cooker!!!  The steak has a tougher texture even though it is falling apart.

Once the steak is cooked you may or may not need to thicken the stock, I struggle with this but I do use a roux and cook it out for approx 20 minutes, I take equal quantities, approx 50g of butter and supreme sponge flour melted together.  I spoon half in to the braised steak and gently cook this out, this is generally enough to slightly thicken the stock gravy enough.

Roll out your pastry for the lid, fill your pie baking dish with the gorgeous braised steak Guinness pie filling, egg wash the top of the pie dish, pop on the suet pie crust lid, crimp the sides and egg wash the top, decorate the top of your pie with a hint of personality, egg wash and bake in a pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and hopefully some of the juices have oozed out over the parts of the pastry and created a rich chewy beef braised crust.  Serve with roasted potatoes and vegetables or buttery mashed potatoes, enjoy.

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