Last St. Patrick’s Day, I shared a quick and healthy green smoothie, and wrote about my brother Brian, who would have been 46 today. This year, in honor of both Pi Day on Monday, and St. Patrick’s Day, I feel obligated to share Donna Hay’s Beef, Guinness and Mushroom Pie with you all. I have been sitting on this since November, and that’s just ridiculous, since there are so many reasons to make this savory pot pie as soon as you can. (Donna Hay, by the way, is Australia’s version of Martha Stewart, but younger, minus the crafts and the jail time, and I will be writing more about her, and our Donna Hay themed cooking club in my next post.) From one of my new favorite cookbooks, it uses a method for the pastry crust that I’ve never heard of before, but is so much simpler that the traditional cold butter version. It’s a hot water pastry that actually melts the butter with water before stirring it into the flour, which results in a kinder dough. It comes together quickly, is sturdy enough to hold up to a hearty filling, yet still flakes. If you’re intimidated by the idea of making a pie, then this is your crust!!! (Or skip it, buy a pre-made shell from the store, and everyone will still love you for making whatever you stick inside of it. I promise. But to be honest, this is totally worth the extra 10-15 minutes of your life.)
But here’s the thing, you’ll want to get started on cooking your brisket first, because this is not a 30 minute meal. Trimming your meat, cubing it, browning it, and finally braising it is time consuming. It’s the type of activity that you can do while listening to a good story though. (I’m currently enjoying this audio book if you’re looking for something entertaining, which is soon going to be a TV series.) And in its own way, it makes for a relaxing time in the kitchen….