De Valeras Pie

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  • Ready in: 2.5 Hours
  • Serves: 4
  • Complexity: medium
  • Origin: Main Courses
De Valeras Pie


  • 900g lean stewing beef, cut into generous chunks
  • 2 tblsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 3 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 225g swede or turnip
  • 225g carrots
  • 340 ml stout
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped
  • Soda bread crust
  • 225g plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp bread soda
  • 150ml buttermilk


  1. You prepare and cook the stew first and for the last 30 minutes, a soda bread dough is added as a lid.

    Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/375ºF190ºC/170ºfan
    Trim the meat of excess fat and toss in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a wide pan and throw in the meat. Move around until well browned. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and place in a round casserole. Prepare and chop the vegetables. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Transfer to the casserole. Cover the base of the pan with 3-4 tblsp stout, bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Pour over the casserole contents, add the remaining vegetables, stout and thyme and mix well. Cover and cook in a moderate oven for 1½-2 hours.

    Soda bread crust
    Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl, mixing well. Make a well in the centre and pour in most of the buttermilk. Draw the flour into the buttermilk until all has been absorbed. The dough should feel sticky, but pliable. Add the remaining buttermilk if necessary. Turn out onto a floured board, kneading lightly, giving it just one or two turns to fix the shape.
    With the palm of your hand pat the dough out into a circular shape to the circumference of the casserole. Remove the casserole from the oven and lift the soda bread carefully on top of the stew, making sure it covers the surface of the simmering meat. Score the surface deeply into four. Dust the surface with a light coat of flour and replace the casserole lid. Turn the heat up to gas mark 6/200ºC/400ºF/180ºfan oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.
    When cooked cut through the four quarters of soda bread crust and slip a serving spoon under each quarter, spooning each and a quantity of meat tucked underneath onto one side of a plate. Surround with more meat and vegetables and spoon the gravy around.

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