Beef and Guinness Pie with a Potato Top
2 cloves of garlic
3 stalks of celery
2 fresh bay leaves
½ a bunch of fresh thyme
500g stewing beef, diced
3 Tsp flour
2 Tsp brown sugar
1 Knob butter
Peel and roughly chop the onions, garlic and carrots, then trim and roughly chop the celery. Tie the bay and thyme sprigs together with string.
Heat 2 Tsp of oil in a large casserole pan over a medium heat. and add the vegetables and herbs. Toss everything in the oil to coat, then season.
Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the veg is softening, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a plate.
Toss the beef in the flour and season, then add to the pan and cook until browned all over (you may need to do this in batches).
Deglaze the pan with the Guinness. Add the veg and herbs, then top up with water if needed, to just cover the meat and veg.
Stir in the brown sugar. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water, then drain.
Mash with the milk, butter and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC
Put the meat in an ovenproof dish, top with the mash and drizzle with oil.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisping up.