guinness feast, part 2: beef shin and pearl barley pie

I love making pies – crispy pastry, tender meat and a tasty sauce. This recipe was very rich and flavourful.

I bought my beef shin from my local butcher for a fantastic price, and the fat on the meat keeps it incredibly tender while cooking.

My tip for rich flavour and tender meat is to cook the shin with bone marrow – I remove the meat from the bone, but the centre of the marrow holds so much juicy flavour. My butcher had no beef marrow bones left, but gave me a veal one and it worked just as brilliantly.



800g beef shin, diced

3 inch piece of beef or veal bone marrow (optional)

flour for dusting

2 tbsp olive oil

1 x red onion, chopped

2 x celery stalks, chopped

2 x carrots, chopped

2 x cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 x can of guinness draught

600ml hot beef stock

2 x bay leaves

handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

handful of fresh thyme, finely chopped

handful of dried pearl barley

salt and pepper to taste

shop-bought puff pastry

1 x egg, beaten


  1. preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. heat olive oil in a large casserole pan over a medium heat. add red onion, celery and carrot and cook until soft, stirring often – approx 5 minutes.
  2. add garlic and cook just long enough to release the flavour.
  3. coat diced beef in flour, and add to the pan. turn meat regularly until it’s evenly browned. i also added my bone marrow in at this stage, but using it is optional.
  4. add the can of guinness to the pan and leave to reduce – liquid should halve in quantity. once guinness has reduced, add the herbs, stock and pearl barley. season to your personal taste and stir well.
  5. put a lid on the pan and pop in the oven for 2.5-3 hours, stirring once every half an hour.
  6. once meat is cooked and tender, remove from the oven and transfer to a pie dish. take the bone and bay leaves out of the mixture, and set aside to cool.
  7. increase oven heat to 190 degrees celsius. once pie filling has fully cooked, top with the puff pastry and crimp around the edges. brush the top with the beaten egg to give it a golden sheen.
  8. pop your pie in the oven for approx 30 minutes, or until the top has begun to brown and crisp up.
  9. serve with buttery mash and greens!

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