A fantastic pie for a cold winter night. The filling can be made in advance and when ready to serve, just requires 30 minutes in the oven. I like to serve with some carrots, broccoli and of course mash!
Heat a casserole dish over medium to high heat with half the olive oil. Add half the beef, and brown over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the cooked beef and set aside. Add more olive oil if required and cook the rest of the beef.
Remove the beef again, adding a little more oil if required and cook the onion, celery and carrot for 4 minutes or so until soft, adding the garlic for the last minute.
Add a tablespoon of flour and stir for 30 seconds, before adding the beef, Guinness®, water, stock cube, thyme and a good grinding of salt and pepper, scraping up all the good bits or residue on the bottom of the pan.
Bring to the simmer, put the lid on and place in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the beef is tender. Check half way through, adding a little more water if drying out.
Remove from oven. Remove the thyme sprigs if using and taste for seasoning. Allow to cool for 20 minutes, before placing in a pie dish. Put the pastry on top, making small indentations in the pastry.
Put the pie back in the oven, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is nice and brown. Enjoy!