St. Patrick’s is coming and since I had very few appropriate recipes for it, I felt behind on getting some quality recipes to you. Ones that are crazy good but with minimal effort and get your kids excited about dinner. An Irish dinner to be specific. This Guinness Beef and Onion Pot Pie is a delicious and easy way to embrace Irish foods without diving into green food dye head first.
Thinking back to my childhood and my Irish grandfather I was stumped on what to make for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. There are only a few food memories I hold regarding my Pa (my brother and I weren’t quite sharp enough to say Grandpa when we were babies so his name was severely shortened). The first is that he would never, ever, eat potatoes with the skin on. I found this bizarre as it has nothing to do with flavour (or the fact that that is where most of the nutrients are kept) but rather to do with one’s status. Secondly, the man couldn’t even make Kraft Dinner. My Nana went back to Scotland for a week once and my Pa had to watch a few of the grandkids by himself and he made KD for lunch one day. We ended up with KD soup (which is not appetizing, sorry Pa). The third is his “cure-all” drink a Hot Toddy, but made with boiled ginger ale, rye, and honey. I remember having to drink it every time I had a sore throat. I now want one every time I have a sore throat, but during my childhood the boiled ginger ale / rye combo was horrible.
This pot pie is everything that I want in a savoury pie. A luscious almost rich tasting gravy, tender pieces of stewed meat, and a top that won’t make me feel weighed down after dinner. There’s parsley and thyme in this pie to brighten up the interior. Instead of the usual pasty top I used very thinly sliced (peeled for Pa) potatoes with a sprinkling of old cheddar cheese on top. Served with some bright lemon shallot peas for a truly delicious meal.
My memories around Guinness beer actually sits with my English Great Grandmother. She drank 1 can of Guinness every single day. She said her doctor recommended it and from all my visits to England I remember her drinking a can (only 1) every day …. she lived to 105 years old so there must be something to that. Guinness is actually a very light beer and pairs extremely well with beef. Occasionally beer recipes can be a bit bitter from the acid in the beer. When evened out with beef broth it makes the world’s best gravy. My kids really liked the flavours, but I had to cut the meat up into quite small pieces. The potato topping was a hard sell and didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.
What’s your go to St. Paddy’s Day recipe?
Yields 4-6 servings
Get into the Irish spirt with this Guinness Beef and Onion Pot Pie. So good and our family's new favourite comfort food.
10 minPrep Time
60 minCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
- 1.5 lbs (680 grams) beef chuck, cut into 1" cubes
- 2 tsp vegetable oil, such as canola or olive oil
- 1.5 cups (250 grams) chopped onions, about 2 medium
- 2 large or 3 medium-small carrots, roughly chopped into 10 cm wide pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme, or 1 tbsp fresh
- 1 tsp dried parsley, or 2 tsp fresh
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1.5 cups Guinness or another stout beer
- 1.5 cups beef broth
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (1/8" thick)
- 1/4 cup grated old cheddar cheese (white or orange will work)
- salt and pepper to season
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- In a medium Dutch Oven or large sauce pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook on all sides until browned. Remove from pot and set aside. Add onions and carrots. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-6 minutes until starting to soften. Add garlic, thyme and parsley. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add beer and broth.
- Add cornstarch to a small bowl and slowly add 1-2 tbsp of the beer/broth mixture while whisking cornstarch the entire time. Once the cornstarch has about 1/4 cup of liquid in it and has dissolved, slowly whisk cornstarch mixture into the pot.
- Return beef to the pot. Bring pot to a boil and remove from heat.
- Add beef mixture to either one ovenproof casserole dish or 6 single serving ovenproof dishes. Top with sliced potato pieces, grated cheese, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, until tops are browning and potato slices are cooked through.