Old McFadden’s Beef and Guinness Pie

This beef and guinness pie recipe, is from Old Joe McFadden, a dear friend of our family and a fine old man, who liked a jar or two of guinness and ran a pie making shop on the Inishowen Peninsula, near the north Atlantic coast, too many years ago. This pie recipe has been passed on through the generations of bakers, and produces a great-tasting, golden brown beef pie.

Recipe Details

Cuisine: Irish East Coast

Recipe Type: A Main meal

Difficulty: Medium level

Time to Prepare: Half an hour

Cooking and Baking Time: Three hours

Servings: Six


18 oz shop bought puff pastry

5 tbsp virgin olive oil

7 oz smoky streaky bacon rashers, cut into strips

2 medium sized onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

30 oz marbled braising steak

2 cups of bottled Guinness

2 cups high quality beef stock

1 tbsp tomato paste

4 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped from their stalks

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp corn flour, blended with 2 tbsp water

9 oz small mushrooms, wiped and halved

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch milled black pepper

2 free range eggs

Step-by-step Instructions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the smoky bacon strips with the onions until golden brown, stir regularly. Add the garlic and fry for about a minute and a half until softened. With a slotted wooden spoon, transfer the onions, garlic and bacon to a heat-proof casserole dish.
  • Cut the steak into rough 2cm cubes and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the frying pan and fry the meat over a medium heat in 2 or 3 batches until browned all over. Add extra olive oil if the pan is dry. Transfer the beef to the casserole dish when browned.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Deglaze the frying pan with half the Guinness. Bring it to the boil while stirring hard to lift and blend the sediment from the bottom of the pan. Pour this over the beef in the casserole dish.
  • Add the remaining Guinness, then the stock, tomato paste and herbs to the casserole dish. Bring everything to the boil, then cover and cook in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove the casserole dish from the oven, stir in the corn flour paste, then put it back for 5 minutes or until all the juices have thickened. Adjust the seasoning to taste and leave to cool. Turn the oven up to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas mark 6.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms over a high heat for about 5 minutes until golden brown, then add them to the meat. Spoon everything into the pie dish around a pie bird or venting funnel.
  • Roll out the pastry on a flour-dusted surface until about 6mm thick and at least 6cm larger than your pie dish. Cut strips that are around 1cm wide, from around the edge of the rolled pastry. Brush the rim of the pie dish with beaten free range egg and fix the strips in place round the rim of the pie dish, overlapping a little if necessary, then brush with more free range egg.
  • Place the pastry top carefully over the pie filling. Trim off the excess pastry with a knife and knock up the edges. Brush the top with the beaten egg. Cut leaf designs from excess pastry and brush with egg, place firmly on pastry top.
  • Place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the middle of the oven for 30–35 minutes until puffed up and golden.

DUBLIN – Source of OLD McFADDEN’S BEEF and GUINNESS pie and of World Records…So who exactly holds the following records?

  • Biggest number of socks put on one foot in 30 seconds. …
  • Tallest toilet paper tower ever made in 30 seconds. …
  • Fastest time to arrange the letters of the alphabet from a can of alphabet spaghetti. …
  • Most Smarties eaten in 60 seconds blindfolded using only chopsticks. …
  • Quickest time to eat a 12-inch pizza using a knife and fork.

The Guinness Storehouse: Dublin’s Biggest Tourist Attraction

When in Dublin, why not visit the Guinness Store house and learn about advanced stout making? The store house is home of the loved black porter, that’s the vital ingredient of Old Joe McFadden’s Beef and Guinness pie. There you can see the dedication that’s put into the brewing of the “Black Stuff”.

Explore the story of how young stout pioneer Arthur Guinness set out to serve up, to all of Ireland, one of the finest of porters to touch the lips of the discerning stout drinker. Then explore the early history of stout and its fight with whiskey in Ireland, which is still ongoing, with no clear winner yet. Then take in panoramic views of the city from the 360-degree Gravity Bar and enjoy an expertly finely chilled, perfectly settled pint poured by experts.

Also on the roof top is the Guinness restaurant where you can try food inspired or including Guinness such as their very own interpretations of Beef and Guinness pie and Guinness and Treacle Soda Bread.

It takes a lot to be mega epic, and some money from well-heeled relatives, but Arthur Guinness has done it. A glass of the “Black Stuff” is now known throughout world, but this slow-settling black stout started off life in the most humble surroundings of St James’s Gate, in the centre of Dublin’s old town.

In the year 1759, when temperance movements were advocating less toxifying stout as an alternative to the demon drink, whiskey. Arthur Guinness took out a 9,000 year leasehold on the St James’s Gate brewery. Guinness was so committed to the idea of temperance, that he only employed like-minded Moravians from Dublin, Ulster and London to run his brewery. Many of the Moravians had already refined their brewing skills in breweries in London, and by 1759 had become experts.

Less than two centuries later, at the zenith of black stout brewing, the Guinness Storehouse was created. Built in the style of the Lloyd Wright Chicago School of Architecture in 1904, it was originally the fermentation house. Today it’s Dublin and Ireland’s biggest tourist attraction – a dazzling, state-of-the-art, multi media exhibition on everything Guinness from 19th century advertising to the master craft of stout brewing.

When life looks as black as jet, A pint of the black stuff will be you’re best bet yet. – Old Joe McFadden, Master Beef and Guinness pie maker.