1heaped teaspoon garlic puree or 5 crushed cloves of fresh garlic
1heaped tablespoon wholegrain mustard
Salt to tasteif necessary
1teaspooncornflourmixed with a little cold water
Beef & Guinness Pie Filling
Chop the meat into 2-3 cm cubes.
Heat a frying pan until very hot & sear the meat on all sides to colour the beef. (If you haven't seared meat before, pop the cubes of beef in the really hot pan and wait. After 1-2 minutes, the meat will unstick itself from the pan and have charred slightly, turn it over & repeat all over).
Add to the slow cooker along with the onions.
Pour some of the Guinness into the pan and using a fork or whisk, deglaze the pan (fancy word for scraping up & not letting go to waste all those yummy brown and black bits of meat & juices that are stuck to the pan after searing the meat) and pour all into the slow cooker.
Pour in the rest of the Guinness and cook on high for 4+ hours or low for 8+ hours on high.
Halfway through (or at least an hour from the end of the cooking time) add in the garlic, crumbled stock cube, mustard and black pepper. Personally I'd wait until the end of cooking to taste whether you need to add salt as the stock cube will contain a lot, but we are rather sparing with salt in cooking. Watching TV chefs, I'm sure they'd add salt at every stage.
When the meat is fall apart tender, switch off the slow cooker and pour all the scrummy gravy off into a smallish saucepan. Bring to the boil and keep boiling until it has reduced by half. Reduce the heat, add the cornflour that has already been mixed with cold water and stir until the gravy has thickened beautifully. If you have stretched the pie filling by adding mushrooms &/or potatoes, you may want a little more gravy than if you stick to the recipe. In this case, reduce only a little and thicken it by adding more than 1 teaspoon of cornflour (always mix it with cold water before adding to stop the sauce from going lumpy)
Assembling the pie
Line a pie tin with the shortcrust pastry, leaving a good amount around the edge for the lid to stick to.
If you're a pro, you'll wait for the meat & the gravy to cool before adding to the dish, if you're like me you'll bung it all in hot and throw straight into a hot oven. Try not to fill it with a hot filling and let it sit around for long.
Egg wash the edges of the pastry and add the filling and the gravy.
Pop on the pie lid, crimp and egg wash the top and bake in the oven for 20 -30 minutes or until the filling is piping hot and the pastry is golden brown & cooked through.