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Slow-Cooker Steak and Guinness Pie


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 110

This simple version of the classic Irish dish has the distinctive bitter flavor of Guinness stout. Although it’s slow-cooked, the hearty beef stew requires minimal prep time. When it’s ready, the puff pastry “tops” are baked separately and served alongside.

  • 1-1/8 oz. (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour; more for rolling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle Guinness (or other stout)
  • 1 cup lower-salt beef broth
  • 2 large russet potatoes (about 1-1/2 lb.), washed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 9 oz.), thawed overnight in the refrigerator

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Toss the beef in the flour mixture to coat. Transfer the mixture (including excess flour) to a 6-quart slow cooker and then add the carrots, onion, garlic, and thyme. Slowly pour in the Guinness and then stir in the beef broth. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Add the potatoes and continue cooking until the meat and the potatoes are fork-tender, about 1 hour more.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with the cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry sheet into a 10x14-inch rectangle. Put it on the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden-brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly on a rack, and cut into quarters.

To serve, lay the puff pastry quarters in 4 wide, shallow bowls and spoon the stew over the pastry.

Serving Suggestions

Start this meal off with a fresh Forty Shades of Green Salad

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 880, Fat (kcal): 34, Fat Calories (g): 300, Saturated Fat (g): 7, Protein (g): 58, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9, Carbohydrates (mg): 79, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 15, Sodium (g): 860, Cholesterol (g): 80, Fiber (g): 5,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I don't care for potatoes cooked with a stew, so eliminated the puff pastry and served this with mashed potatoes and added parsnips to the stew. It was delicious! My husband is still talking about it.

wow so good

Great taste. I own your basic high/low crock-pot. I put the potato's in at the start. Also amended with additional ingredients, baby bella mushrooms sweated out in a cast iron pan in butter, thin sliced shallot, fresh hulled peas, coarse chopped celery. All into the pot and walk away. That why you want a slow-cooker recipe in the first place isn't it?

SO sad. I have tried so many FineCooking recipes and loved every one. As soon as my mag arrives, I immediately begin planning my grocery shopping around it. This is the first (and likely only) time I have been disappointed. I followed this to a tee and the result was bland AND bitter. Sorry, but this one just didn't cut it. :( I have no suggestions for improvement other than to look for another recipe form FineCooking. I guarantee there are plenty of other winners!

Excellent recipe have made it several times. Last time I had no Guinness so instead I added a package of onion soup mix and some water, my family said it was even better than the one with Guinness. Also, RE: POTATOES, I put them in with everything else at the beginning, no waiting an hour after I get home from work!

If you love Guinness, you're going to love this recipe. Read my entire review at:

A great tasting and simple recipe. I thoroughly enjoyed this. I loved the fact that since the pastry is done separately, I can have as much extra as I want!

Ok - not a lot of flavor. My 1" potatoes didn't cook in an hour, either, and the meat was completely falling apart before the potatoes were done (not necessarily a bad thing, but start the potatoes earlier.)

very easy and good - it was done in about 4 hrs on high; I parboiled the potatoes and added them for the last 45 minutes, also added peas a few minutes before serving. The sauce was not quite thick enough, even tho I dredged the meat in flour as per the recipe. But the flavor was yummy and the meat deliciously tender. Next time I might try Harp instead of Guinness (I know this would change the recipe name...), or even use the recipe as a springboard for other flavors - red wine, for example. But worth making as is, too.

Yummy, but not amazing. Easy to assemble. Great comfort food for a rainy day. The potatoes need more than 1 hour (when preparing the meal on a low setting). Makes enough to freeze a few servings for a later date.

Amazingly simple and yummy! However, the potatoes didn't cook through in just 1 hr. I would definitely put in at 2 hrs (on low) before serving.

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