Beef and Guinness Pie

Coming towards the end of my little Irish evening recipe roundup, it would definitely not have been complete without something containing Guinness. As I’ve always been partial to a good old beef and Guinness stew, I thought I would take it up a notch by turning it into a pie. This recipe of course works perfectly well as just a stew, but I do feel if you have a little extra time/motivation this does feel a wee bit fancy.

This dish could be described as pure comfort food, especially when it’s still a little bit nippy outside. Although definitely good served just as is, I must say I like it with some creamy mash (or colcannon) to help soak up all the gravy and maybe some greens too.

I realise that this is not exactly a quick week night meal, but I also would not call this a difficult dish. The beauty in this is letting the meat simmer away for a long time until it is wonderfully melting tender and the gravy thick and umami filled. Although in saying that, every time I make this I cook the stew a day or two before (have it simmering in the background while I’m doing other things) and then the day of, ladle it into a pie dish of your choosing and throw some pastry on it.

If your pot develops a crust on the bottom after browning the beef, do not despair, this has lots of lovely flavour and you can use the Guinness to soften it up and incorporate it back into the stew. Don’t think of changing pots and wasting any of this tasty goodness.

As this recipe does require a little time, the good news is it freezes brilliantly (with or without the pastry), so it’s a good opportunity to make a big batch and have some more tucked away in the freezer for a later meal.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Beef and Guinness Pie

Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Servings 6


  • 700 g stewing beef diced in 2 cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 handful woody herbs such as rosemary, thyme, bay
  • 565 ml Guinness (a pint)
  • 800 g canned whole tomatoes
  • 500 g puff pastry
  • 1 egg beaten


  • Place the diced beef in a bowl and toss with the flour, salt and pepper until well coated.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven and brown the seasoned beef, in batches if necessary, until nicely browned.
  • Add in the onion and continue cooking for a minute or two before adding the other vegetables and herbs.
  • After a few minutes add the Guinness, use this to scrap any crusty bits off the bottom of the pan. Throw the tomatoes in and bring everything to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for about 2 hours until the meat is really tender and you have a lovely thick sauce.
  • Preheat your oven to 190°C.
  • Ladle the stew into your chosen pie dish (I used a large one, but small single serving dishes also work well).
  • Cut out the necessary shape from the puff pastry to put a lid(s) on your pie dish(es). Brush the egg wash around the edges before placing the lid on and squashing it down around the edges.
  • Lightly score a crisscross pattern with a knife on your pastry lid and then brush more egg wash over the top.
  • Place in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the puff pastry is lovely and golden.
  • Serve by itself or with some sides like steamed greens and mash.


Adapted from Happy Days with the Naked Chef
If you want to make any of this ahead, you can do the stew a day or 3 beforehand and chill until you want to chuck it in a pie dish and put a lid on it (actually tastes better after a day in my opinion).
This also works perfectly fine as a stew ladled over some lovely mash potato, just skip the last few steps (from preheating the oven).
This will also freeze really well, with or without the pastry. Just reheat in oven when you want it.
You can also cut down the time a bit by making the stew in a pressure cooker (have done this once). I used an instant pot, did the initial steps with the saute function and then pressure cooked it for 40 minutes after adding the tomato. If it still looks a bit runny after the pressure has been released (could be smarter than I was about how much liquid you initially put in), just chuck the saute function on again and reduce it down a bit (don’t want a soupy pie).
Keyword Beef, Guinness, Pie
Posts created 26

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