Guinness Beef Shepherd’s Pie



  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless stewing beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more, as needed
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed and halved
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness, no foam
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs, tied with string
  • 1 recipe mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded aged cheddar, plus more for the top
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water




Position the oven rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 350°F. Pat the beef dry. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. Add the beef and toss well to lightly coat all the pieces. In a Dutch oven or large, ovenproof heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high. You want it hot, but not smoking. Working in three batches (so the meat will brown, not steam), sear the meat, stirring occasionally until well-browned, about 5 minutes per batch; add the extra tablespoon of oil between batches, as needed (I used two extra tablespoons total). Transfer the browned meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon. To the pot add ½ of the beef stock, onions, garlic, mushrooms and carrots. Season with a little more salt and pepper and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes; add the tomato paste, remaining stock, Guinness, Worcestershire and thyme. Add the beef, along with any juices in the bowl. Bring to a rapid simmer, cover and transfer to the oven. Braise until the beef is very tender and the sauce has reduced, about 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, make the mashed potatoes, if using. Stir in the cheese and garlic powder to the potatoes. Remove the pot from the oven. Fish out the thyme and discard; add in the peas. Place the pot of stew on the stove over medium heat. Add the cornstarch slurry, bring to a boil and cook until nicely thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and let cool slightly if using the potato topping. Turn the oven up to 400°F. Spread the stew into a casserole dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal and to prevent the filling from bubbling up (some will but that’s okay). Smooth with a rubber spatula and make decorative peaks, if desired. Sprinkle a little cheese on top. Place the dish on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until the potatoes just begin to brown and the cheese melts, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.




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