Recipe for Guinness Pie.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are a bit muted this year. But that doesn’t mean we cannot celebrate lovely Irish ingredients and make something wholesome. This is a house favourite here and I make it with the pastry for a pie and without as a hot pot. The caramelized onion on top are the real show stopper. If you are vegetarian, swap the beef for Oyster mushrooms. Serve with creamy mash and crusty bread. I cook my meat in a slow cooker so its super tender. But it can go from pan to baking dish if you prefer. I have used the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker function for this. However, when the pressure released it was a volcano of Guinness erupting. So I would suggest, starting with the sautè, then slow cook for 3 hours, finishing off in the oven with pastry.


  • 800 grams of cubed beef (around half inch to an inch in size)
  • 3 tbsp plain flour (you might need more to toss beef, lightly coating)
  • 1 x 440ml or 500ml can of Guinness (if you have traditional bottled Guinness Stout it’s better)
  • 6 medium onions (thinly sliced)
  • 600 grams button or chestnut mushrooms quartered
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef or mushroom stock cube
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 4 tbsp soft brown sugar (the darker the sugar the richer the caramel)
  • 50gram butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + a dash for the onions
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 roll of pre-made puff pastry & 1 of short crust pastry if you want pastry base
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (dry will also do fine)
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • Method:
  • Prep & measure out all your ingredients. Turn your slow cooker onto high to get warm.
  • Season & toss your beef in the flour in small batches so its lightly covered for putting in the pan.
  • Put your pan on a medium heat adding the tablespoon of oil. In small batches seal your beef. Set it aside on a plate. When all the beef is sealed, put some water into the pan and deglaze it.
  • Now add your garlic and stir for about a minute. Add a little water to stop it catching. Then add in the mushrooms, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce & some Guinness (a splash). Stir everything around so its coated and simmer for a couple of minutes. Be sure to deglaze the pan.
  • Transfer the meat, pan mixture and remaining Guinness to your slow cooker, turn it onto low.  Leave to simmer for at least 3 hours to tenderize the meat. Just be careful it doesn’t dry out. LOW & SLOW
  • (NOTE – If cooking on the hob, have it on the lowest heat for about an 45 minutes. But check it regularly. You don’t want to boil it. Sample the meat and if it’s tender, turn it off. You can warm it up when you want to serve.)
  • Taking the same pan over medium heat, pop in the butter and as its melting put a drop of olive oil in. (I do this so the butter doesn’t burn).
  • Now add in your onions and coat in the butter. Cook for about a 2 minutes to sweat.  Sprinkle the sugar onto the onions and cook until sweet and a golden colour. They will be sticky. Turn off and leave to one side.
  • In a preheated oven, blind bake your short crust pastry base for about 15 minutes.
  • Once the meat is tender. Transfer the meat mixture to the pie dish, top with the a good layer of onion and then the puff pastry. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden in colour. ( If you are serving with mash, now would be the time to prep & put these on to cook.)
  • NOTE: If you are making as a hot pot, about an hour before serving, transfer half the onion onto the meat mixture in the slow cooker. Then before serving just warm up the remaining onions and place on top of the mixture. 
  • Serve with mashed potato or chunks of sourdough bread.

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