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Steak and Stout Pot Pies

Ingredients

For the Crust

For the Filling

Instructions

  1. To make the pie crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers (or a potato masher), work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Add a bit more buttermilk if necessary, but you want to mixture to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture.
  3. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Gently knead into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.
  4. To make the filling, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until browned and crisp on both sides. Once crisp, remove from the pan and place on a few sheets of paper towel leaving the fat that was rendered in the pan.
  5. Season beef cubes generously with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pan and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. This won’t cook the beef all the way through, just brown the edges. Remove from the pan and place in a medium bowl, leaving the fat behind.
  6. Add the mushrooms to the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms until they release some of their liquid and begin to brown on both sides, about 7 minutes. Once browned, remove from the pan and place atop the beef cubes in the bowl.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan and place over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and sweet potato pieces. Toss in the pan and begin to soften and brown, about 4 minutes. Add the thyme and parsley and stir to combine.
  8. Return the beef and mushrooms to the pot. Coarsely chop the cooked bacon and add it to the pot as well.
  9. Add the beer to the hot pan. The mixture will sizzle. As the mixture sizzles, scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan, allowing the beer to sizzle down for about 3 minutes. Add the beef broth and bring to a simmer.
  10. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the beef is very tender.
  11. You’ll want to thicken the sauce of the beef mixture before adding it to the ramekins to bake. Place cornstarch in a small bowl. Spoon a few spoonfuls of the simmering beef liquid into the bowl and stir to smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering stew. It will begin to thicken slightly as it simmers. Remove from the heat.
  12. To assemble the pot pies, roll out the pie crust, on a well floured surface, roll the crust 1/4-inch thick. Use a round lid and large round biscuit cutter to cut rounds that are just slightly larger than your baking ramekins.
  13. Spoon beef mixture into ramekins (I used 1-cup ramekins) to about 3/4 full. Cut vent slits or place a small hole in the top of each pie crust round and place atop the ramekin. You can either tuck the crust inside the ramekin or leave it hanging over the edge, depending on how large you made your crust round.
  14. Brush lightly with buttermilk and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  15. You can refrigerate the ramekins for baking later or the following day.
  16. You can also wrap each ramekin in foil and freeze for up to 1 month.
  17. If baking the pot pies from the refrigerator or fresh, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven.
  18. Bake the pies on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and browned.
  19. Remove from heat and cool slightly before diving in. Serve warm and enjoy!
  20. If baking the pot pies from frozen, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Keep pies lightly wrapped in foil and bake until the center is no longer frozen, about 35 minutes. Remove the foil, move the pies to the upper oven rack and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until well browned and bubbling. Enjoy warm!
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