Steak and Stilton Pie
Mince up 3-4 cloves of garlic, dice 2 large onions, finely dice 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery, and slice up 8 – 12 oz of Cremini mushrooms. Heat a T of butter and a T of oil in a deep pot, like a Dutch oven, and sauté the above until tender. While this is working, slice and dice up 2 – 2 ½ lbs kinda cheap beef, like chuck steak, into 1” or so cubes and/or strips, like you’d do for beef stew and season with S&P. When the veggies are done, remove them from the pan, add another T or so of butter and an equal amount of oil and lightly brown the meat in batches, adding more butter and oil as needed. Remove the beef and all but about 1 ½ T of the drippings. Add 1 ½ T flour and stir to combine. Return the meat and veggies to the pot and pour in enough Guinness to cover, about a pint. Toss in a sprig of thyme, or ½ t or so dried, and a Bay leaf. Give it all a good stir and bring it up to a slow boil. Put a lid on the pot and pop it in the oven. You can cook it for 1 ½ - 2 hours at 350, or 4 hours or so at 215. While this stuff is baking, butter the bottom and a bit up the sides of individual ramekins or a fairly large stew crock. 30 minutes before you think it’s done, take a sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry out of the freezer to thaw. Take the pot out of the oven, unlid it and see what you have. If you need to reduce the liquid a bit, do that now on top of the stove. When you think it’s right check your seasoning for S&P, but go easy on the salt. Grate up 6 oz or so of sharp cheddar and put half of it in the bottom(s) of whatever baking dish(es) you’re going to use, then stir the rest into the stew along with 1 – 2 oz of crumbled Stilton. Stilton is strong, so you might want to go light at first then add to if you like it. Ladle this stuff into your dishes and top with a piece of puff pastry. Slit the top in a place or two and brush it with beaten egg yolk. Bake at 350 – 375 until the top is golden and the filling bubbly. Serve at once with baby green peas and maybe some carrots, whatever.