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D is for Dinner - Beef and Guiness Pie

Mat Desjardins.JPGIf you've ever wanted to go to Ireland, 2013 could be a good year to do it. Throughout the year, Ireland will welcome tourists with special gatherings organized in villages, towns and cities across the country.

But if you can't make it Ireland, the Ottawa Irish Festival has many events planned to bring out the Irish in you this week. This year, D is for Dinner decided to forgo the pitcher of green beer and consume beer the way any self-respecting Irishman or woman would -- in a pie. Mat Desjardins is the chef to Irish Ambassador Ray Bassett. He shared his recipe for Beef and Guiness Pie.

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Beef & Guinness Pie

Pie Filling - Four Individual Pies
    1 tbs butter
    4 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 onion, diced
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    600g beef cut in 1/2 inch cubes (sirloin, but round will do).
    2 carrots, sliced
    1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
    500ml (1 can) Guinness
    1 cup beef stock
    1 dash Worcester sauce
    2 tsp tomato paste
    1/3 cup all purpose flour
    1 sprig thyme
    salt and pepper

    125 grams Margarine
    3/4  cup of boiling water
    2 1/4 cups of flour
    1 egg, beaten

1.     Prepare pastry first, as it needs to rest in the fridge.  Melt the margarine in a large bowl, add the boiling water, and sift in the flour.  Leave it to set in the fridge for at least an hour.
2.      Heat butter in heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and garlic, stirring until they soften.  Set aside in a bowl.
3.      Add oil to pot and allow to re-heat. Toss beef in seasoned flour and add to pot in batches, browning off. Bring onions and garlic back into pot, throw in carrots, mushrooms, thyme, black pepper, dash of Worcester sauce and tomato paste, stirring vigorously to coat everything.
4.      Pour in Guinness and beef stock. Stir well and reduce heat. Put lid on pot and allow to simmer quietly for an hour, until beef is tender and juices reduced.
5.      Allow a generous sprinkle of flour on the table when you're rolling out the pastry.  Ensure the circles are slightly wider than the bowl you'll be cooking them in, so that pastry falls over the sides.
6.      Place pie mixture into oven-proof bowls and layer the circle of pastry on top, patting down to seal the edges. Brush well with beaten egg, pierce a small hole to allow steam to escape, and pop in the 350 degree pre-heated oven for about fifteen to twenty minutes, until the pastry lid is golden brown. Remove and serve.

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