First off I would like to remind all our readers that it’s Mothers Day back home next Sunday so get your cards in the mail now! After years of living this side of the pond I have found that if I buy a Mothers Day cards when they go on sale here I can just stick it in the drawer until it’s needed.

Another reminder, turn your clocks back {or is it forward, I can never remember} next Sunday too.

Next week is St. Patrick’s Day so I’ve given you enough time to get all of your ingredients together to make one of my favorite dishes….

Beef and Guinness Pie brings together two of Ireland's most famous products, beef and Guinness in a hale and hearty pie. The long-slow cooking of the filling creates not just perfectly tender beef, it also allows the flavor of the Guinness to permeate the meat and the vegetables and produce a thick, luscious sauce.


7 oz/ all purpose/plain flour
Pinch of salt
4 oz butter, cubed or an equal mix of butter and lard
2-3 tbsp cold water
1 egg, beaten for glaze
1oz all purpose/plain flour
1 ¾lbchuck steak cut into 1"/2.5cm cubes
¾oz butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots chopped in to 1"/2.5cm cubes
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp tomato puree
17 fl/oz Guinness or stout
1 ½ pints hot beef stock
2 tsp sugar
Salt and ground pepper


Make the pastry following these instructions

Place the flour in a large bowl and season with salt and ground black pepper, add the cubes of meat and toss well in the flour until evenly coated.

Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish until the butter has melted. Add the meat to the fat in small batches and brown quickly all over for just a minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onions and carrots to the pan and fry gently for about 2 minutes then return the meat to the pan with the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, ale stock and sugar. Grind in plenty of black pepper and a little salt, stir well and bring to the boil.

Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook slowly for about 2 hours until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened and is glossy. Remove from the heat, place into a 2½ pint/1.5 liter deep pie dish and leave to cool completely.

Heat the oven to 400F

Roll out the pastry to 1/8". Cut a ¾" strip from the rolled-out pastry. Brush the rim of the pie dish with water and place the pastry strip around the rim, pressing it down. Cut out the remaining pastry about 1"larger than the dish. Sit a pie funnel in the center of the filling; it will support the pastry and stop it from sinking into the filling and becoming soggy.

Place the pastry lid over the top and press down to the edge and seal. Trim off any excess pastry and crimp the edges with a fork or between your thumb and forefinger. Brush the top with beaten egg and make a hole in the center to reveal the pie funnel. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.

Optional - You can decorate the top of the pie with pastry trimmings as you like, I like to put a little shamrock on top.