2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds good-quality stewing beef, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 large red onions, cubed
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large carrots, thickly sliced
2 ribs celery, thickly sliced
6 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1 12-ounce bottle Guinness
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary
1 sheet store-bought puff pastry
1 large egg, beaten, for egg wash
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Warm oil and butter in a heavy bottomed 6-quart saucepan or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper all over. Add beef in batches to pan and sear all sides. Remove beef to a bowl.
To the hot pan add onions and cook until soft; add garlic. Add carrots, celery, and mushrooms; cook for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water and scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan.
Return beef to pan. Stir in flour. Add rosemary. Pour in Guinness and just enough water to cover. Bring to a gentle boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce to a low simmer, and cook for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until beef is tender.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Using a slotted spoon, remove beef and vegetables to a bowl. Reduce sauce by half on medium-high heat, about 10 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning of sauce. Spread beef and vegetables in a 3-quart baking dish. Pour over with reduced sauce.
Roll out puff pastry to fit baking dish. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, trim edges to uniform size. Cut a few slits into dough. Brush edges of dish with egg wash. Place pastry over baking dish and brush top with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Serve with boiled potatoes and steamed peas.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
- Joseph Erdos