Summit Suds: How to make shepherd’s pie from Pug Ryan’s Brewery
When thoughtfully paired, food and beverages can expose palates to a melody of tastes. Combining the two into a singular recipe can take that experience further and create a new marriage of flavors. That’s why Pug Ryan’s Brewery uses its beer in many recipes — from macaroni and cheese to barbecue sauce to mustard — to elevate dishes.
One of its most popular offerings is shepherd’s pie: lamb and beef braised in stout, served in a dish with peas, carrots and corn that is topped with whipped potatoes. On the menu before John and Judy Jordan owned the brewery, the cozy fan-favorite was even featured as a family-style meal to take home over the winter.
“We did make the mistake of taking it off one summer and replaced it with what we thought was a more summery dish, but we should not have done that,” Judy Jordan said. “We’re doing that year-round. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser.”
Jordan says braising with the beer helps tenderize the meat and infuses it with moisture. The dark Outlaw Stout — which has notes of chocolate, vanilla and caramel — makes the perfect ingredient and pairing.
“It’s a warm and hearty dinner, and if you pair it with the stout that the lamb is braised in, that’s a delicious accompaniment to the meal.”
Here is the restaurant’s recipe on how to make it at home:
Pug Ryan’s shepherd’s pie
- 2 pounds beef, 1-inch stew cut
- 2 pounds lamb, 1-inch stew cut
- 1 yellow onion, large dice
- 1 head celery, large dice
- 3 carrots, large dice
- 3 carrots, small dice and sauteed
- 6 cloves garlic, whole
- 1 cup Pug Ryan’s Brewery Outlaw Stout
- 1/2 cup port wine
- 1 1/2 cups corn, roasted
- 1 1/2 cups peas, frozen
- 3/4 gallon beef stock
- 1/4 cup vegetable or coconut oil
- Fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano tied together with butcher’s twine
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion power
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 5 potatoes
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup milk
Toss the lamb and beef with enough of the spice mixture to coat. Get a large, thick-bottomed pot hot on the stove. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. When the pot is very hot, add 1/4 cup of vegetable or coconut oil. Add the meat, and give it a hard sear.
Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the meat to a large baking dish when the juices from the meat have cooked off and the meat is starting to stick to the pan. Add the stout and enough beef stock to completely cover the meat with an extra inch of stock on top. Wrap with aluminum foil and bake for 4 hours and 20 minutes.
Add a couple tablespoons of oil and the large diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic cloves in the pot you used to sear the meat. Sautee the vegetables while using a wooden spoon to scrape off any stuck bits. When the vegetables are cooked, add the herbs tied together with twine and deglaze with the port wine.
Reduce the wine by half. Add the rest of the beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
While the wine is reducing, boil potatoes until tender. Mix with a handheld or stand mixer with butter and milk, adding salt and pepper to taste, until fluffy.
Remove the stock pot from the stove and allow the gravy to cool. Remove the herbs and blend until smooth. Do this in small batches and transfer to a sauce pot to finish the gravy. Add the small-diced carrots that have already been sauteed, corn and peas to the gravy.
When the meat is finished in the oven, shred it and add the meat and juices to the gravy. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes and transfer to a baking dish. Top with whipped potatoes and bake until potatoes are crispy.
Jefferson Geiger is the arts and entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News and managing editor for Explore Summit. Have a question about beer? Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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