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Beef and Guinness Pie with Kale Colcannon

Introduction & method

This rich and tasty pie is the real deal. It's a real pie, not a bowl of stew with shop-bought puff pastry on top! And to go with it, an Irish classic, colcannon with kale.

Beef and Guinness Pie with Kale Colcannon Recipe

Make The Filling

Remove any fat or silverskin from the beef, and chop it into cubes - they should be about 2cm (just under an inch). Toss the cubes in flour to coat them, then brown them off in medium-hot oil in a frying pan. You'll probably need to do this in batches.

Transfer the beef to the vessel you are going to cook the filling in. You can do it in a large saucepan, slow-cooker/crockpot, pressure cooker or as a casserole in a low oven. Add the stock and the Guinness, bring to the boil, and skim of any scum that rises to the surface.

Chop the carrots and celery into small dice and add them to the beef. Peel and chop the onions into small pieces and when you have browned off all the beef, turn down the heat and sauté the onions until soft but not browned. Add them to the beef and vegetables, then finely chop the parsley and throw that in. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you are using a pressure cooker, bring it up to pressure and cook for 30 minutes. If using a saucepan, it will take 3½ hours for the meat to be properly tender. When the beef is cooked, you might want to reduce the amount of liquid by rapid boiling, and thicken it by sifting in some flour. Let the filling cool completely before using it: you might want to pop it in the freezer if you are short of time.

Make The Pastry

Heat the water in a small pan and melt the lard in it. The lard will melt faster if you chop it into small chunks. Stir the salt into the flour, then stir in the water/lard mixture. Mix it as much as you can, then tip it out onto your worktop and finish mixing by hand. Wrap the dough in plastic film and leave to cool to room temperature.

Assemble and Bake the Pie

Preheat you oven to 160°C (320°F) if it's a fan oven, 180°C (356°F) if it isn't.
Roll out just under half of the pastry and cut it to the same size as your baking tin. Make a large hole in the centre. Roll out the rest of the pastry for the base, and press it into the tin, being careful not to make holes in it or crease it. A blob of spare dough is useful to press it right into the corners. Spoon the filling into the pastry base. Moisten the rim with water and press the lid in place. Crimp the edge by firmly pressing your thumbs into the dough to produce a kind of scalloped effect. Raise the edge of the lid up slightly, so it is no longer in contact with the tin.

Beat an egg and mix a splash of milk in. Paint this mixture all over the top and the edges. Bake for 25 minutes, then check how the pie is browning - you might want to turn it round and give it another 10-15 minutes.

Make the Colcannon

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized chunks. Add them to the boiling water. Wash and finely slice/chop the kale. When the spuds have had about 10 minutes, add the kale and give it another 10 minutes. Then drain the water off, add butter and cream, season with salt and pepper and mash until smooth. To serve the colcannon, put some in a ring mould on a plate. Remove the mould, make a dimple in the top and put a knob of butter into it.

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Ingredients & Info

 1 kilo shin of beef
 1 can of Guinness
 300 ml beef stock
 2 medium onions
 3 carrots
 3-4 sticks celery
 1 small handful flat leaf parsley
 1 tsp Dijon mustard
 1 tbsp plain white flour
  salt and pepper to taste
 500 grams plain white (all-purpose) flour
 250 grams lard
 250 ml water
 1 tsp salt
 500 grams potato
 250 grams kale
 50 grams butter
 3 tbsp cream
 half a tsp white pepper
 half a tsp salt

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 8 
Prep time: 30 minutes.
cooling time: 1 hour.
Cooking time: 40 minutes.
Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes.