It’s St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th March – the Patron Saint of Ireland, and how better to celebrate than with a recipe involving Guinness? (You do have to put it in the recipe, you can’t just drink it while you’re cooking. Sorry!)
I have been to Ireland many times and sampled all sorts of Irish cuisine – from huge Full Irish breakfasts and Irish beef burgers (I wasn’t always Pesky) to Tayto Crisps, Guinness, Soda Bread and Barry’s Tea. The traditional food in Ireland is hearty, filling, comforting and mostly homegrown. So even though my Veggie Steak and Ale Pie isn’t a traditional recipe, I’m sure the people of Ireland would approve.
Steak and Ale Pie is a staple dish in many pubs up and down Britain and they all vary in ingredients and presentation. Some pies are surrounded in pastry – bottom, sides and lid; others just have a pastry lid. People can get quite passionate about whether a pie is still a pie if it only has a pastry lid. But I say, if a Cottage Pie and a Shepherds Pie are called pies when they contain no pastry what-so-ever, as long as it’s tasty, you can call it what you like. Talking of pastry, I have included my Rough Puff Pastry recipe below, it’s really easy, and tastes delicious. But feel free to use shortcrust if you prefer a thinner pastry, or use shop-bought if you’re more comfortable. But first . . . .
Here are 5 facts about Ireland:
(All images from Google)
1, Ireland is split into 2 – Northern Ireland which belongs to Great Britain, and the Republic of Ireland or Eire, which governs itself.
2, The Irish flag consists of 3 colours – orange which represents Irish Protestants (traditionally they are pro the union with Great Britain), green which represents Irish Catholics (traditionally pro independence) and white representing the hope of peace between the two.
3, Ireland’s national flower is Oxalis, commonly known as Shamrock.
4, Ireland is home lots of myths and legends and folk law is full of stories about magical creatures. These include the Wailing Banchee, who foretells the death of members of old Irish families by wailing outside their window. As well as the famous Leprechauns who are wealthy shoemaker sprites, who hoard gold and enjoy a pint. If you catch one, it’s said you can bargain the Leprechauns gold for his freedom.
5, The national dishes of Ireland include Irish Stew (a stew made with lamb or mutton and root vegetables), Colcannon (a side dish of potatoes mashed with butter and kale or cabbage) and Soda bread (a dense, filling but delicious bread made with bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast)
“What? No facts about St. Patrick?!” I hear you exclaim. Well I was going to include some, but whilst I was researching I came across this short video on a National Curriculum Revision Guide website, and honestly, I can’t do better than this! Enjoy! https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zqtf34j/articles/zcxbsrd
Ready in 80 mins (10 mins prep and putting together, 30 mins on the hob, 40 mins in the oven) serves 4-6.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 1 small celery stick, diced
- 300g of Quorn pieces
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- A pinch of black pepper
- A pinch of rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce (if you’re not veggie, you can just use regular Worcestershire sauce)
- 1 440ml can of Guinness
- 3 heaped teaspoons of gravy granules
- 100mls of water.
- 400g of plain flour
- 300g of cold, salted butter, cut into tiny dice
- A pinch of mustard powder
- 250mls of cold water
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- 1 free range egg, or a drop of milk to egg wash pastry
- Put the olive oil and onion in a pan over a medium/high heat.
- Cook for a few minutes then add the carrot and celery and cook for a few more minutes. – Pic 1
- Add the Quorn, Stock cube, black pepper, rosemary and Worcestershire sauce.
- Mix well and cook for a few minutes until well combined. – Pic 2
- Add the Guinness, and mix well. – Pic 3
- Bring to the boil then turn the heat down, Cover with a lid, upturned heat-proof dish or sheet of kitchen foil and simmer for 20 mins. – Pic 4
- Stir well, Add the gravy granules and 100mls of water and simmer for another 10 mins then take it off the heat. – Pic 5
- Meanwhile, make the pastry:
- Mix the water and lemon juice together.
- Put flour, mustard powder and butter into a bowl. – Pic 6
- With a knife, mix to a fairly soft crumbly paste with the water and lemon juice. Try not to break the butter down too much. – Pic 7
- Draw together with finger tips and turn out onto a floured surface. – Pic 8
- With a floured rolling pin, roll out the mixture into a rectangle, don’t try to get it too thin or perfect, just a rough shape will do at this point.
- Fold in three, envelope style – fold the bottom 3rd over the middle third – Pic 9 – then the top 3rd over the other two. – Pic 10
- Turn the block a quarter turn. – Pic 11
- Repeat the rolling, folding and turning at least 3 more times. the pastry will come together and smooth out. – Pic 12
- Wrap in cling film or put in a polythene bag and chill in the fridge while you wait for the filling to cook.
- Preheat oven to 200c / 180c fan / gas mark 6.
- Roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured board and cut out a piece of pastry slightly bigger than you need for the lid. – Pic 13
- Grease a pie tin with butter or spray with Fry-Light or something similar, and use the rest of the pastry to line the tin. I lay the whole sheet over the tin and ease it down to the bottom with my hands. – Pics 14 & 15
- Trim any excess from the sides and prick the base with a fork to stop it bubbling up while it’s cooking. – Pic 16 (If you’re not having pastry sides, wrap the spare pastry back up in the cling film or polythene bag and pop it in the freezer for next time.)
- Pore the filling into your tin. – Pic 17 (only do this once you’re ready to cook the pie. If you pore in your filling and have it sitting around for a while, you risk making the pastry soggy with the moisture from the filling)
- Wet the edges of the pastry sides and place the lid on top.
- Push the lid into the wet edges of the pastry sides to seal it and crimp around the edges. – Pic 18
- Stab a steam hole in the lid and egg wash with beaten egg or milk.
- Bake for 40 mins or until golden brown.