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Rough Puff Pastry, Beef Guinness Pie & Monica Lewinsky!

My good friend Chris Cassidy wrote a song in 1999 about Monica Lewinsky at the height of that particular scandal.  The Master Tape was lost until last week when we found it in a box and this week just happens to be Monica's 40th Birthday!

Chris' dad was a butcher so all his family have the 'local family name' of "Pie" eg Chris 'Pie' Cassidy etc. A local family name is a thing that you often find on the Irish west coast to distinguish one family of the same name as another. This being a food website, it was only logical that I give you a recipe for a Pie to go with the music! So here is "Rough Puff Pastry & Beef Pie" to the music of Chris Pie Cassidy!

Do enjoy both the music & the pie - the words to the song are on the YouTube website :)

Click to play the music and the Rough Puff Pastry, Beef Guinness Pie recipes are here below :)

Rough Puff Pastry
This type of pastry is great for pies and tarts, either sweet or savoury. You can also use it for sausage rolls!

My Ingredients:
250g Plain flour
75g "Cookeen" vegetable fat
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
75g butter

My Method:
1. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the white fat as normal when making pastry. Add the lemon juice and cold water to mix to a stiff dough. Refrigerate for 1/2 an hour to relax.
2. Roll out the pastry into a rectangle. Cut the butter into lumps about the size of a walnut and place it over 3/4 of the pastry.
3. Fold in the unbuttered 1/3 to the middle of the pastry and then fold the 1st 1/3 over this, so that the butter is layered inside the pastry.
4. Carefully roll out this pastry to it's original size keeping it lightly floured to stop sticking. Fold it in 3 again and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
5. Repeat this rolling and folding three more times relaxing the pastry in the fridge between each folding.
6. Leave the pastry for one  hour in the fridge before finally rolling it out for your Pie top.

Beef 'n Guinness Casserole

My Ingredients:
1 kg Stewing or Braising Beef
75g Butter
2 tbls olive oil
225g Onions Roughly chopped
225g Chunky-cut Carrots
100g Roughly chopped Celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped small
1 tblsp Flour
1 tspn Wholegrain Mustard
1 tblsp Brown Sugar
1 tspn each of chopped Thyme, Parsley and Marjoram
1 Orange, simply cut in quarters
500ml Guinness
Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper

My Method:
1. Cut the meat into bite-sized chunks. Melt 1/2 the butter in a large pan, add the meat and brown on all sides over a high heat. Remove with a spoon and set aside.
2. Turn down the heat to medium and add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the pan with the remaining butter and cook for 5minutes.
3. Add the flour, mustard, sugar and stir thoroughly. Add the Guinness and mix well. Stirring occasionally, cook until the sauce thickens a little.
4. Return the meat to the pan, squeeze in the orange juice and add the herbs. Season with a twist of pepper and sea salt.
5. Mix well. Then cover and simmer very gently, giving it an odd stir for approximately 2 hours until the meat is tender. You can eat this straight away as a casserole at this stage if you wish.
6. When making the pie it's best to let the meat cool a bit before topping so that it doesn't melt the pastry before it gets to the oven (which would effect the rising of the pastry). Roll out your pastry to suit your Pie Dish with 2cm extra all round.
7. Add your meat to the dish, cover with the pastry and roll in the 2cm around the edge to give a crust. Decorate and brush with beaten egg and milk to glaze.
8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 35 minutes until risen and golden in colour!

There you go. Simple and delicious! And I hope you enjoyed the music too!

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world's Longest Coastal Route