Once in a blue cheese moon I actually feel like making pastry. That moon came on Wednesday, when I whipped up Ramsay’s rough puff. But woman cannot live on pastry alone, so I threw some beef and Guinness in a pot and let that simmer for a couple of hours.
The next day (assured by Google that it wasn’t a completely hair-brained thing to do), I rolled blue cheese into the pastry. It looked a bit weird, but then I had a(nother) glass of wine and everything seemed fine. I cut it to size, scored it and put it on top of that Guinnessy goodness, gave it an egg wash, popped it in a hot oven and hoped for the best.
I was quite pleased with the result, but our dinner guest claimed it actually was the BEST Guinness pie she’d ever eaten. She’s apparently eaten lots (of Guinness pies), and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten any, so I’ll take her word for it. (Even if I do know that she on occasion eats baked beans out of a tin for dinner.)
So maybe I could get into this pastry thing. There is something rather splendid about taking a puffy golden pie out of the oven. And how cool is it to make funky crusts. What’s next: roast chicken with a goat’s cheese crust? The previously dreaded apple pie with a cheddar crust? (I now get the cheesy crust, but in a sweet pie??) What cheese goes with lamb?
Then again, maybe our guest wasn’t even talking about the crust. She did reveal that whoever used to make her Guinness pie pretty much put beef and Guinness in a pot with, like, nothing else. (Did I forget to mention that mine obviously included onions, celery, garlic, rosemary, tomato paste, salt, pepper, a squirt of Worcestershire, and extracts from the blood of a leprechaun?)
Whatever it was, it worked. As did the Guinness ice cream, which should really be called genius ice cream: sweet, bitter, creamy, and thanks to the addition of caramelised and salted cashews, salty and crunchy too. All food groups in one delicious mouthful (and then several more).
But no more food now. Is it beer o’clock yet?