Savory Sunday: Beef Potpies with Cheddar-Stout Crust

My love for the kitchen extends far past the sugar and chocolate, to the savory side of things, and I'm delighted to welcome you to the first of many Savory Sundays, here at Decorate This! As you may have noticed over the past few weeks, Decorate This! has received quite the facelift, and with a new look comes a new direction. I will certainly still be sharing my latest cake creations, but I will also be sharing more of my favorite recipes - sweet and savory- and tutorials to help you on your own kitchen adventure. And as always, I'd love to hear from you! Let me know if there's something that you like to see here, or things you'd like to see more of.

Today's savory recipe is perfect for early spring, particularly St. Patrick's Day! These pot pies are cozy and comforting, filled with tender beef, stout beer, and flavorful veggies. We paired our pies with a crisp arugula salad - delicious!

Beef Pot Pies with Cheddar-Stout Crust

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3/4 cup grated Irish cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 6-7 tablespoons stout beer
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 1/4 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup stout beer
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 3 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

Prepare Dough

  1. Pulse flour and salt in a food processor to combine.
  2. Add butter and cheese; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal, with some pea-sized chunks of butter.  Remember, visible butter in your dough means flaky crust!
  3. Drizzle in 6 tablespoons stout, and add thyme; pulse to combine.
  4. Squeeze the dough between your fingers; if it does not hold its shape, pulse in up to 1 more tablespoon beer.
  5. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Prepare Filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper, and then toss in flour in a large bowl.
  3. Melt the butter or heat oil in a Dutch oven or large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the beef and brown, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate.
  5. Deglaze pot with 1/4 cup water,  scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  7. Add the beef, stout, 1 2/3 cups of water, and thyme to the pot.
  8. Bring to a simmer, then cover, transfer to the oven, and braise for 30 minutes.
  9. Add the leeks, carrots, and celery to the pot, and continue braising, 1 more hour. At this point, the meat should be very tender, and the liquid should be reduced to a thick sauce.


  1. Place six 10-ounce ramekins on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Remove dough from refrigerator, and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 10-by-15-inch rectangle.
  3. Cut dough into six 5-inch squares, and make a few slits in the middle of each square to allow steam to escape. Please ensure that each square overlaps the ramekin by about ½-inch on all sides; the pastry may shrink slightly in the oven.


  1. Remove the filling from the oven, and increase oven temperature to 375F.
  2. Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste, and divide evenly among the ramekins.
  3. Top each ramekin with a square of dough, pressing the edges into the ramekin.
  4. Brush dough with the beaten egg.
  5. Bake on the middle rack in the oven until the crust is crisp and golden brown, 35-40 minutes.


Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


The potpie filling and dough can be made a day ahead. Let the filling cool, then refrigerate and reheat before assembling potpies to bake.

Source: Slighty adapted from Food Network Magazine, March 2013

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