Tag Archives: Beef

Steak and Guinness pie

Mmmm.. pie.  Especially beer pie.  Since this is fairly potato heavy, I haven’t made this in a long time but I do love it.  It’s excellent for cold weather and it is certainly one of those things that gets better the next day in the fridge.  I’ve also been known to make them and freeze them before baking – making it a very easy homemade TV dinner experience.

I actually made this for my parents who wouldn’t touch it because they equate Guinness with bad beer – and to be honest, the stuff we get that doesn’t come in the shotgun cans here in the US is fairly foul, given that it is contract brewed by Molson and has a bit of skunk to it.  Luckily baking manages to fix that.

One final thought.  As with so many of my recipes, this calls for a 40 of Guinness.  You may have noticed a trend.  I don’t drink beer that often anymore so I don’t keep it in the house.  I also like the snazzy feeling of walking out of a grocery store with a huge high end beer in a paper bag.

This recipe will make two pies.  I use these proportions because I like steak and Guinness pie and because the store brand premade pie shells always seem to be buy one get one.  Possibly just my store, but it always works out.

  • 2 pounds stew beef
  • flour for dredging (I use Wondra)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 40oz Guinness
  • 2 medium red potatoes, cubed small
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 2 pieces of premade pie shell
  • corn starch

Press pie shells into pie pans and set aside.  This works out much better when they are at room temperature.  In a dutch oven, sautee onion slices, capers and garlic in a 1-1 mixture of butter and vegetable oil until the onion is almost clear.  Push the mixture to the edge of the pot.  Dredge the beef in flour and drop the pieces into the pot and brown them.  You may need to do this in batches to keep from overcrowding the meat.  Add the Guinness and potatoes.  Top with the dried spices.  Cook on high until the liquid begins to boil, then bring to a simmer.  Simmer for about 1/2 hour.  Thicken with corn starch and transfer into pie shells.  Top with another pie shell and pinch close.  Cut vent slits in the top and bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until the shells are finished.  If you freeze the pies before baking, make sure they are completely at room temperature before putting in the oven.  Add an additional 10 minutes in the oven.  Nothing kills the love inherent in steak and Guinness pie like a chunk of ice in your meal.

Campfire Meals

Another day, another recipe.  This time, it’s something simple and quick that I learned how to make at – of all places – church camp.  Campfire meals were one of those artsy things everyone’s probably done once but never done again.  The idea was to take ingredients that can be easily stored and transported, then cooked in an open fire (or, in my case now, an oven).  It basically consists of a meat, some sort of vegetable, and a starch that can be sliced.  The original recipe always had ground beef in it but I like to get all fancy schmancy with mine now and I use beef strips instead.

  • Tin foil
  • one pound beef strips or ground beef (low fat content)
  • one small potato, sliced
  • one small onion, sliced
  • one carrot, julienned
  • one celery stalk, julienned
  • one tsp worcestershire sauce per packet
  • dried thyme

Basically take the tin foil and put all the ingredients on it.  Wrap the tin foil into a pouch and toss in a 350 oven for 30-45 minutes or toss in a dying campfire for the same amount of time.  The fat from the beef will extract and cook the other ingredients.  The thicker the sliced potato (I grate mine usually) the longer you’ll want to cook it.  When it’s done, transfer to a bowl and top with a cheese of your choice.  Smells like the camp you didn’t want to go to when you were a kid.. until you got there.. then you didn’t want to leave.

Pot Roast.. and a few thoughts.

Today I will be posting a recipe for pot roast.  Delicious, satisfying, hearty pot roast.  But before we get to the deliciousness, I thought I’d mention why I started posting recipes in the first place.

First, I have lived the last ten years with a diabetic.  Cooking can be a minefield at the best of times, but last year we embarked on a modified-low-carb-low-glycemic-it’s-not-a-diet-it’s-a-lifestyle (MLCLGINADIAL for short) lifestyle food plan.  I mention that it isn’t a diet because it really isn’t.  I’m not as close a follower due to my love of fatty snacks and generally bad for you food.  I do follow it because I cook for two, not two meals for two people.  I have been known, during my work-at-home day, to crawl in the corner and eat a box of ho-hos in what can only be described as an orgy of self loathing, but it happens less often than you’d think.  Since embarking on this MLCLGINADIAL food journey I have managed to lose some weight. 

Second, I was adopted at birth.  Who, what, and how that happened is a subject for an entirely other blog.  Suffice it to say I have met my birthmother and have some of my medical history available to me.  Some.  Attempts to locate my father have been fruitless (thank you adoption laws in Florida) so I have no idea what medical oddity lies there.  A little over a year ago I fell and broke my shoulder.  In five pieces.  I tripped on a curb.  Really.  Who, what, and how that happened is a subject for yet another other blog.  I learned two things from that – first, I have developed a true hatred and eternal loathing for a major healthcare provider in the Washington DC area over how my case was handled, and second, I learned that I have high blood pressure.  Really high blood pressure.  According to the doctor I should have stroked out in the ER after it happened.  Don’t worry – I’m OK now.

Why do I mention all of this?  Both the diabetes and the high blood pressure can be partially controlled by food.  Since that’s the case, I have attempted to modify my recipes so that neither one of us ends up dying or suffering anything long term shortly after dinner.  Reductions in salt and in sugar have both done wonders.

So, on to why you’re here.  Pot roast.  In a crock pot.

  • 2-3 pound chuck pot roast – WELL MARBLED
  • 40 oz Guinness (you can get an actual 40 at the grocery store.  If they don’t have it, tell them they’re not snazzy enough)
  • 10-15 baby carrots
  • 1 medium sweet onion, quartered
  • 1 medium rutabaga, cut into bite sized pieces
  • beef broth
  • worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • capers (optional)
  • one tbsp prepared horseradish (optional)
  • corn starch for thickening

Take the WELL MARBLED chuck roast and put in the bottom of the pot.  You can pre-brown it if you like, but I don’t.  Add in the quartered onion, the rutabaga, the baby carrots, and top with garlic.  Pour the Guinness over the meat and allow it to settle.  Add in worcestershire sauce to taste (I blanket it liberally) and enough beef broth to bring the pot 4/5 the way full.

Set crock pot to high, then walk away for a couple of hours, set to low, and let run until you’re ready to serve.  A minimum of 4-5 hours.

After decanting the vegetables and the meat, pour some broth in a sauce pan, add the horseradish and capers, then thicken with corn starch.



Hamburger Steak

Time for an old staple.  This is a southern dish updated.  Easy to make, inexpensive, low in carbohydrate, and downright delicious.  I’ve made this as a standby after work when I didn’t feel like starting something in the morning and waiting for it to finish or when I don’t have much time in the evening and just want to get something on the table.  Here I’ve plated it with a vegetable medley (broccoli, squash, bok choi, carrots, and snap peas that have been stirfried) and cauliflower and parmesan, which I will cover later.  Total prep time for this.. around 30 minutes.  Usual eating time.. 10 – tops.  This recipe is for two servings.

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef – 80/20
  • worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 package of portabello or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock

Form the beef into rough steak shapes – something New York Strip-y.  Season with worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.  Fry on high until the meat sears, flipping to get both sides, then cover and cook on a lower temperature until cooked to desired level of doneness.  Remove and plate the steaks.

In the same pan, sautee the onion and mushrooms in the leftover fat from the hamburger.  Add wine and beef stock and bring to a boil.  Mix cornstarch and enough water to make a liquid and pour into the pan.  Immediately bring the heat to low and stir in the cornstarch and water mixture.  Once thickened, put over the cooked steaks and served.