- 6 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck or sirloin, cubed
- 1 tablespoon Essence
- 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- Pastry Top
- 1 large egg, beaten, for glaze
- Lightly dressed salad greens, accompaniment
- English farmhouse cheeses, such as Double Gloucester, Huntsman, Cheshire, Wensleydale, Lancashire, as an accompaniment
- Fresh hot bread, as an accompaniment
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until browned. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
- Season the beef with the Essence. Add enough oil to the pan to equal 2 tablespoons of fat and heat over medium-high. When hot, add the beef (in batches, if necessary to prevent overcrowding). Cook until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and add the onions, adding more oil as needed. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until wilted and starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, flour, and Worcestershire, and stir well. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the beer and stock, and stir to deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil and add the bay leaf, parsley, and thyme, and return the meat to the pan. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roll out the pastry crust on a lightly floured surface into a circle large enough to cover the top of the baking dish.
- Add the cooked bacon to the meat mixture. Pour into a large, round, deep-dish, ceramic, baking pan. Place the pastry crust on top of the baking dish, crimping around the sides to seal. Cut a vent hole in the center with a small sharp knife. Brush with the beaten egg and bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve with salad, assorted cheeses, and hot bread.
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