My friend Graham had never had steak and guinness pie before so when he came to my house for for dinner I knew I had to make it for him. I just had to decide on some nice side dishes to go with it for which i decided on mushy peas, parsnip crisps and colcannon (an Irish dish made with potato, green cabbage, bacon, onion and spring onion).
I always find when making a stew in always tastes best the next day when the flavours have infused so I always make my stew a day in advance, this also takes a lot of pressure out of having a dinner party as you don't have to be as busy on the day.
900g stewing steak cubed
3 carrotts sliced
2 sticks of celery sliced
1/2 leek finely diced
1 medium onion sliced and about 10 shallots peeled
4 rashers of smoked bacon
1/2 a red pepper finely diced
15 mushrooms halved
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp thyme and parsley finely chopped
2 bay leafs
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp worchester sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 L beef stock
ready rolled puff pastry and 1 beaten egg.
The first thing I like to do is fry the bacon in a little oil to create a nice smokey salty oil to fry fry the beef in. when the bacon is crispy remove from your pot and set aside. Our next step is to season the flour with salt and pepper, 1/2 the paprika, 1/2 the cumin and half the coriander. Coat the beef in the flour and fry it in the bacon fat and oil. this will have to be done in a few batches as you don't want to crowd the pan.
We now want to start on our vegetables. All vegetables have different cooking times so we want to make sure we add them in order of their cooking times. I start with the onions and shallots, cook these for 5 minutes until they start to brown, add the bay leaves, carrotts, celery and leek add the rest of the paprika, cumin and coriander. give everything a stir around the pan then add a pinch of salt and pepper and the tomato puree. after 5 minutes add the peppers and mushrooms , again give a good stir. The next step is to add the bacon and beef back into the pot, another stir to mix everything up and then add the guinness, stock, chopped herbs and half the worchester sauce. Bring the stew to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, as long as its on a low heat it won't overcook as the meat will just become even more tender. when cooked check the seasoning and add salt, pepper and worchester sauce depending on your taste.
To turn your stew into a pie simply pour it into a pie container, cover with pastry, make a few slits in the pastry with a knife so it doesn't explode and brush with beaten egg. It will take about 25 minutes to cook so I put it into the oven 10 minutes before starters.
For the colcannon I steam my potatoes (roughly 2 per person) while the potato is cooking I add butter to the pan and fry 3 bacon rashers diced, 1 diced onion, roughly 2 cups of chopped green cabbage leaves and 3 spring onions adding salt pepper and roughly half a teaspoon of nutmeg. when the potatoes are cooked, remove the skins and mash with a little butter, cream and milk, when you have a creamy consistency with no lumps fold the fried mixture into it and you now have colcannon.
For the parsnip crisps I sliced the parsnip into thin slices and added it to water seasoned with salt, pepper and a little honey. Drain the parsnips and pat dry with a paper towel then fry in a deep fat fryer til crispy.
I know mushy peas are easy to cook but I love the dried ones from the the box so I just follow them instruction and serve. I would have loved to post some pictures of my finished plate but I was just too hungry and had to eat it, I promise next time I make it i'll take more pics.