Welcome them home with delicious chunks of tender Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured braising steak topped with a golden puff. The real secret to this recipe is the fresh shitake mushrooms, which add a deep earthy flavour to the sauce.
Prep: 30 minutesmins
Cook: 2 hourshrs
Oven Temp: 200ºC/Gas Mark 6
Heat 30ml of oil in a large saucepan, fry the onion until soft, then add the pancetta or bacon and fry until golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic and fry for 1 minute before adding the mushrooms and frying until soft. Remove this mixture to a plate and heat the remaining 30ml of oil in the pan until hot, add the beef pieces and quickly stir fry until the meat is sealed and browned.
Add the flour and stir to coat the beef pieces, and then gradually add the stout stirring all the time so the flour and stout combine slowly and create the basis of the sauce. Now add the water and stock cube.
Pour the onion, bacon and mushroom mixture back into the sauce pan and mix well. Add the bay leaves, cover and turn down to the lowest point and simmer very gently for 1 hour, stirring a few times. Remove the bay leaves.
This can be served at this stage as a delicious stew, or you can transfer to a large pie dish, or 4 individual dishes, let it cool slightly and cover with ready rolled puff pastry. Trim around the sides of the pie dish, brush the pastry with egg yolk and bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry has risen and is golden brown.
To serve: Serve with baby new potatoes and vegetables.