Directions for Stew:
In a Dutch oven, cook onions in 1/2 of the butter and half olive oil, over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onions begin to soften. Place a lid on and cook slowly for several minutes, then remove and continue to stir now and then until softened and beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl, and reserve.
Trim and cut beef, removing any hard bits of fat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss in flour. Heat the remaining butter and oil in the Dutch oven over moderately high heat until the foam subsides. Add in the meat and cook until browned on all sides, stirring as necessary and working in batches if needed. Shake the remainder of the flour over the meat if any is left, stirring for a moment or two.
Add in the Guinness, stirring and scraping the pan, then add the broth, reserved onion mixture, thyme, sage and bay leaf and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Check the liquid, it should be nearly to the top of the meat. Add more broth or a little water if needed. Cover, bring just up to a boil, then turn down and simmer gently for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally.
Add in your choice of vegetables, stir, checking the liquid in the pan. It should not be so thick that the stew is beginning to stick on the bottom. Add a touch more broth or water if needed. Place the lid back on and bring back to a gentle simmer and simmer until meat and vegetables are tender, about another hour. Stir in peas.
Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and a little jam to taste and a dash of Worcestershire if desired.
Serve immediately unless you’re making individual pot pies, in which case, chill, uncovered, at least 30 minutes.
To bake Casseroles:
Divide stew into serving dishes and chill for at least 30 minutes. Fill ramekins, leaving about 1/2″ of space.
Roll out pastry dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick. or large enough to cover each ramekin with a square of pastry. Trim edges and cut dough into quarters.
Stir together egg and water and brush a 1-inch border of egg wash around each square. Invert 1 square over each bowl and drape, pressing sides lightly to help adhere. Put several small slashes in the center of the puff pastry. Brush pastry tops with some of the remaining egg wash and freeze 15 minutes to thoroughly chill the dough.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, set the oven rack to the middle and put a lipped (not an airbake) baking tray on the shelf, Place pies on pans and bake until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and bake 5 minutes more to fully cook dough. If the puff pastry has browned, but isn’t quite yet done, it can be covered loosely with a sheet of foil to prevent further browning.
Cool several minutes before serving. Drink rest of Guinness.
Keywords: Alcohol, Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef, Beer, Carrots, Chuck Roast, Family Recipe, Guinness, Irish, Make Ahead, Parsnips, Potatoes, Rutabaga, stew, turnip