Another Attempt at Baking

what the what?! Did I actually make these??

Matt and I spend a lot of time and money at the pub a block from our house, Kildare House.  We joke that Kildare House is our living room.  As a result of all the time we spend in Kildare we have gained several friends.  If anyone is wondering where we picked up Al as a friend…Kildare.  Jamie…Kildare.  Ivan…Kildare.  Several others…Kildare.  Basically Kildare House is a fun place to be so if you are in Windsor or visit Windsor make sure to go to Kildare House.  If you are hungry get the fish and chips, the fish is bigger than your head, no joke!  And if  you happen to go on Thursday night you can see our friend Jamie Reaume play!

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[/span4][span8] The next cookbook in line for the project is one I was really excited for, “Great Pub Food: Make Home Your New Local” by Rachael Lane. But then when I opened it to the tagged page my excitement went out the window and I think I even said “Reall?!” out loud, even though I was by myself. WHY DID I PICK THIS RECIPE???
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If the suspense of the recipe is killing you…the recipe was for Beef and Guinness Pie.  And if you recall from my post Rosemary: Not a Baker, you will remember that baking is not my thing.  So even though the recipe was for a meat pie, it was still for a pie.

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so far so good...
so far so good…
[/span4][span8] To start off with I had to make a shortcrust pastry for the crust. In my food processor (which is getting a lot of use lately) I processed flour and cold cubed butter. When it was the consistency of fine crumbs I slowly added cold water. I processed that to be dry and crumbly.
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crust disc
crust disc
[/span4][span8] Then I kneaded into a disc, wrapped in plastic and chilled in the fridge. (Or you freeze and thaw before needed)
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Soften veggies!
Soften veggies!
[/span4][span8] Next I started the filling. I heated some butter in a large skillet and added diced onion, celery, carrot and garlic until it softened.
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Brownin' the meat
Brownin’ the meat
[/span4][span8] I removed the veggies and heated a bit of canola oil. In batches (never crowd your pan), I added cubed beef shoulder which I had tossed in flour and salt and pepper. I browned the sides, removed and added another batch to brown and so forth…
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[/span4][span8] Once all the meat was browned I added all the meat, softened veggies, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and a can of Guinness beer to the skillet.
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In for the long haul...
In for the long haul…
[/span4][span8] I covered and let it cook on low heat for 1 1/2 HOURS!!!
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The length of cooking time is seriously invading on my bar time!
The length of cooking time is seriously invading on my bar time!
[/span4][span8] Then after 1 1/2 hours uncover and let it cook for another 1/2 hour…
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[/span4][span8] The filling was then removed from heat and cooled. Now it’s put the pies together! I lightly buttered some small pie pans for individual pies. (FYI I bought my pie pans at Sur la Table for $1.95 each) I rolled out the disc of dough and formed dough into each pie pan.
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[/span4][span8] I filled each with the cooled filling.
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[/span4][span8] And topped each with puff pastry sealed by pressing a fork along the rim of the pan. Each pie top was brushed with lightly beaten egg and two slits were cut into each top.
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what the what?! Did I actually make these??
what the what?! Did I actually make these??
[/span4][span8] Into the oven they went for 25 minutes and they came out…PERFECT!
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The Verdict:  So apparently if baking involves meat I am pretty darn good at it!  These turned out great and while typically they would have been probably better for a cold winter day they were still tasty in the summer.  To start with the pastry for the pie crust came together a lot less painlessly and effortlessly than I was anticipating.  But on a whole this recipe is a very time consuming and labor intensive.  You have to have some serious planning in place to execute this recipe.  For me I split it up over 3 days, making the pie crust on day and freezing, making the filling the night before and refrigerating until the next day and then the day of putting it all together.  Start to finish you wouldn’t be able make this after work for dinner that evening – unless you are ok with eating at 10PM…  I ended up making 3 pies, Matt and I each ate one and I refrigerated the other one until the next day.  The leftover one  heated up nicely in a warm oven.  So should I ever go through the labor intensive process of making these again I will definitely make several and freeze after they cool to reheat for a easy dinner on a cold WINTER day.  If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to try making these pies you can grab the recipe here.

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