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Hearty Beef & Vegetable Potpie

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A great dish for entertaining, this hearty potpie is stuffed with meltingly tender beef, mushrooms and the season’s best root vegetables—plus a whole bottle of stout. The stew and crust dough can be prepared ahead of time; just reheat the stew before assembling the potpie. A sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top is optional, but gives the crust a welcome salty crunch.

Makes: 8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean beef stew meat
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 10-ounce package mushrooms, halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 1 medium turnip or rutabaga, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium beet, peeled and diced
  • 1 12-ounce bottle stout
  • 1 15-ounce can beef broth, divided
  • 2 medium carrots or parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup pearl onions, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 112 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup spent grain
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • coarse sea salt (optional)


• Make the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Divide the beef, thyme, salt and pepper in half and work in two batches: Add half of the beef to the Dutch oven and sprinkle with half of the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon, and repeat with the remaining beef, thyme, salt and pepper. To the Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon oil, mushrooms, turnip (or rutabaga) and beet, and cook until the mushroom liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the browned beef and any accumulated juice, stout and all but 5 teaspoons broth. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Add carrots (or parsnips) and onions. Return to a simmer and cook 10 minutes more.

• Meanwhile, make the dough: Whisk the flour, 1 teaspoon thyme, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add half of the butter and knead with your fingers until pea-sized pieces form. Add the remaining butter and continue to work the dough with your fingers until some of the pieces resemble cornmeal. Sprinkle the grain over the top and toss to combine. Sprinkle the water over the top and knead a few times to form a ball. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until the stew is ready.

• Preheat an oven to 375 degrees.

• When the stew is finished, mix the cornstarch and the remaining 5 teaspoons broth. Stir into the stew until it reaches the desired consistency and bring to a boil; boil 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

• Set the dough on a floured surface and roll out into 9-by-13-inch rectangle; place the dough on top of the stew and prick all over with a fork. Brush the dough with milk and sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt, if desired. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.



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