Blue Cheese-Crusted Beef Pie=Giveaway!

Update: Congratulations to Julie from Bananas for Bourbon, the winner of this giveaway.  She likes her blue cheese in pasta sauce, on bread, and is hoping to incorporate it into Biscuit batter.  Looks like she’ll get her chance!

My sister-in-law, Liz, hosted us for dinner on Christmas Eve eve and served Stilton-crusted beef stew that we all went crazy for.

It was an interesting coincidence because Maggy and I had just been remembering how Kerrygold Cashel Blue Cheese was the hit at the Big Summer Potluck lunch this past August. There were lots of wonderful dishes that day, but it was the big wheel of Cashel blue that everyone was talking about, heading back to the buffet table for more. At the end of the meal there wasn’t a crumble left.

Which is unusual, because as someone who frequently serves cheese, I nearly always find blue cheese left on the board. Why was the Kerrygold Cashal Blue so popular? To me it’s because this cheese is at once creamy and crumbly, mild yet distinct. It looks and tastes like butter mated with blue.

Maggy turned to me at that holiday dinner and said, “Wouldn’t the beef stew crust be perfect made with Kerrygold Cashel Blue?” The stew already had an Irish feel–much of the flavoring liquid was Guiness. I said, “You’re right!”

Maggy facebooked the folks at Kerry Gold and told them about our blue cheese crusted stout stew. In fact they liked the idea so much they suggested a giveaway. Kerrygold sent some Cashel Blue, and I developed my own recipe: Blue Cheese-Crusted Beef Stout Pie. I served it to Maggy who thought it was superb. I gave some to my friend who e-mailed to say, “It’s the best stew I ever tasted.”

So there you have it–a great recipe and a giveaway. Kerrygold will send you a thee-pound wheel of Cashel Blue, lovingly crafted by the Grubb  family with milk from cows that graze on some of Ireland’s most lush and nutrient rich pastures. (FYI, there was no compensation for this post… except for a wheel of that amazing blue cheese!)

Just tell us your favorite thing to do with blue. Giveaway closes on Sunday, February 5th at 9 PM ET. We’ll announce the winner first thing Monday morning.

Blue Cheese-Crusted Beef Stout Pie

Serves 8

These days it appears that most grocery stores carry either 1-pound packages of frozen pearl onions or 9-ounce packages of creamed pearl onions. Either works. Since I can only get creamed pearl onions, my recipe calls for that. If using regular frozen pearl onions, use a 1-pound package and add an extra tablespoon of oil when sauteing garlic and herbs and increase flour to 1/4 cup.

1 recipe Blue Cheese Pastry (below)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sliced baby bella mushrooms
3 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and ground black pepper
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups stout, such as Guinness
2 packages (9 ounces each) frozen creamed pearl onions
1 pound each: boiling potatoes and peeled carrots, cut into bite-size chunks
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Make Blue Cheese Pastry and refrigerate. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons of of the oil in a 5- to 6- quart Dutch oven or heavy soup kettle over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until most of the moisture has evaporated and mushrooms start to turn brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Meanwhile, drizzle beef with another tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Working in 2 batches to avoid overcrowding, add beef chunks to hot pot and sear, turning only once, until 2 sides form an impressive, dark brown crust, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in pot. Add garlic, thyme, and flour; cook until garlic is golden, almost immediately. Vigorously whisk in broth, stout, and tomato paste and then creamed (or regular, see note above) pearl onions. Bring to a simmer; continue to simmer until creamed pearl onions have just thawed. Return beef to the pot. Using two potholders to protect hands, place a sheet of heavy-duty foil over pot, pressing foil down so that it touches stew. Seal foil completely around edges. Place lid snugly on pot and cook until juices bubble. Set pot in the oven and cook until meat is tender, 1 1/2 hours.

While stew cooks, bring 1 inch of water to boil in a deep skillet or pot over high heat. Place potatoes and carrots in a steamer basket, season with salt, and set in pan. Cover and steam until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove stew from oven and carefully remove foil. Stir in steamed vegetables and Worcestershire sauce. (Stew can be cooled and refrigerated up to 2 days); return to a simmer.

About 45 minutes before serving, leave oven rack at lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll Blue Cheese Pastry to 10- to 11-inch circle (check pan diameter). Place pastry over stew; set pot in oven and bake, uncovered, until stew is bubbly and pastry is golden brow, about 30 minutes. (For a richer colored pastry, turn on broiler and continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes longer) Spoon into soup plates and serve.

Blue Cheese Pastry

Enough for a single crust 9-inch pie

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) frozen unsalted butter, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup ice water
3 ounces crumbled blue cheese, preferably Kerry Gold Cashel

Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor to blend. Add butter; process with 12 to 14 one-second pulses until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size butter pieces. Add blue cheese; process with 2 to 3 more one-second pulses until incorporated. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; sprinkle ice water over mixture with a fork until mixture starts to come together. Switching to hands, form mixture into a ball pressing dough onto the side of the bowl and adding sprinkling in a little more water, if necessary to get dough to form a solid ball. Wrap dough in plastic and press into a 4-inch disk. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

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  1. dwight says

    Blue melted into a creamy Alfredo style pasta sauce over mushroom ravioli.
    The recipe you have for the beef looks great and would be made if I win

  2. Rony says

    Our nightly ritual is to stuff four large jalepeno olives with blue cheese, shake up two of the coldest, dirty vodka martinis, and share the events of the day over some spiced nuts. We’ve been unwinding from the day like this for ten years.

  3. says

    That stew sounds great! I love blue cheese crumbled over cubed roasted sweet potatoes tossed with lemon juice, rosemary, dried cranberries and walnuts.

  4. Loretta Genetelli says

    I make these wonderful blue cheese and pecan crackers, add blue to a mix of cheeses on my homemade pizza but my favorite way to eat a really good blue is spread on a really good piece of bread and just savor it.

  5. Deb says

    This stew sounds delicious – I want to make it soon…! I love blue cheese on green salads, especially when combined with fruit and nuts and a tangy, but not overpowering, vinaigrette…!

  6. ellina says

    My favourite thing for blue is this: Slices of crusty artisan bread, smeared with blue, drizzled with a touch of honey, and sprinkled with some fleur de sel crystals.
    And I made the stew, and it was awesome! One thing, though: While in the oven, some of the butter from the crust melted. Some of it was reabsorbed, but some just pooled. Any idea what went wrong?

  7. Dana Booth says

    cobb salad is my favorite thing for blue cheese. This stew however does look great and I’ve been looking for a good beef stew recipe. My Dad used to make one with beer that I liked as a kid, but he didn’t really have a recipe :)

  8. Carolyn g says

    Right now I am using bleu in salads and I am also making a bleu cheese sauce to use with macaroni and over meat

  9. Laurie says

    My husband is the blue cheese lover, but my daughter-in-law made a wonderful pear salad with blue cheese that was wonderful.

  10. Betty Armstrong says

    Butter lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, sliced fresh pears, and toasted pecans with a oil and vinegar dressing.

    I came to like blue cheese late in life (50s) and this was the reason

  11. says

    Wishing for Maggy’s recipe for the blue cheese and candied walnut loaf that she brought over for the Super Bowl.

    The great thing about blue cheese is it doesn’t take much to get lots of flavor.

    But then again you can never have too much blue cheese. My favorite late, late night snack for the last twenty years has been good old Saga Baby Blue on water crackers with a glass of red wine. Puts me right to sleep.

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