In the savory world, there are few things that are as wonderful to add for flavor than cheese or alcohol. This was inspired by a wonderful recipe from Jamie Oliver, a big inspiration of mine. I met him twice and watched him cook in person – he put on quite a show and even played some music for the audience. His energy is infectious, his demos are entertaining and he has done so much to put a light on the importance of eating whole food through his TV shows and work with families and schools. See Jamie Oliver’s Official Website.
I adjusted his original recipe by changing to chuck cubes from brisket, and upping the veggies while eliminating the mushrooms. I adjusted it to my family’s tastes and fit it to my agenda of getting the kids to eat more veggies!
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium red onions
2 tbsp unsalted butter
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks small slices
3 cloves of garlic diced
2 pounds of chuck cubes
1 tbsp of rosemary (pull off the leaves from the talk and chop finely)
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 bottle of Guinness or strong amber beer
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Half cup unsalted stock or water (possibly more)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 3 75 degrees. Prep all the veg by dicing the onion, peeling the carrot and cutting into angled slices and clean and chop the celery, dice the garlic and chop the rosemary. Prep the meat by cleaning and drying it, then cutting to small cubes about 1 1/2 inch or so and cut off any excess fat. Grate the cheese and put into the refrigerator until needed.
Pour the olive oil into the bottom of a Dutch oven and warm. Add in the diced onions and cook for 10 or 12 minutes until tender but not browned.
Tip: Salt the onions right away to encourage bringing out the water.
Add in the butter, celery and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Put in the garlic, beef, rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour in the beer and broth or water to cover the meat, then whisk in the flour. Put into the oven and cook for 1 hour. Pull the puff pastry out of the freezer to thaw (needs about 30 minutes). Stir the stew and cook for another 15 minutes.
Pull Dutch oven out and put it on the stove. Mix in half of the cheddar cheese, then lay the other half on top of the beef mixture. Whisk the egg and milk, then roll out the puff pastry sheet and brush on the egg. Pour the beef mixture into a pie pan, then cover with the pastry.
Take the corners and fold them over, never remove an excess pastry, it is everyone’s favorite part! Put the pie in the lower third of the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the pastry is browned. Taste for seasoning before serving.