Thanking the Pre-Made Pastry Gods: Guinness, Leek and Steak Pie

I’ve been on a little bit of a pastry kick recently. I’m not sure if it’s due to the season and it just seems more homely and warming or the fact that every time my other half bakes he shows me up to my friends. See, I’m the cook in my house and that’s the way it’s going to stay.

However, puff pastry is something I’ve not experimented with and it intimidates me. I’ll spend all afternoon working hard on preparing a delicious filling like this Guinness, Leek and Steak Pie for it all to fail should I not get the puff pastry right — which is why I thank the pre-made pastry gods. Why do I need to make my own puff pastry when I can find it in the frozen food aisle?

The sweetness from the leeks and bold flavor of the Guinness is a perfect marrying of flavors to compliment the meat, the beautiful meat that falls apart to the touch of the fork. So should your pastry making skills fail you, like mine often do, this pie filling would be perfect in a bowl as you are curled up in your leopard print snuggie in front of the television… Did I just say that out loud!

For the recipe, keep reading.

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In The Mix: Coca Leaf Liqueur


Our recent rundown of the Top 10 New Things to Put in Your Drink inspired ES’s newest feature, In The Mix, a look at the coolest/craziest/most outlandish new ingredients — alcohols and mixers both — we’ve seen popping up in cocktails.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we’re kicking it off with an alcohol that’s relatively green to the market and also very, very green.

Agwa de Bolivia starts with coca leaves (yes, those coca leaves) plucked in Bolivia, transported by armed guard and sent to Amsterdam to have their cocaine alkaloids removed (sorry, kids). The coca is then distilled and mixed with stimulants like ginseng and guarana to mimic the “oxygen buzz” Bolivian farmers get when chewing coco leaves at high altitudes.

Our tasting team tried Agwa straight (ugh) and mixed with club soda and lime, which brought out a refreshing, floral flavor everyone liked, although if I experienced an “oxygen buzz” I have to say it wasn’t so wildly different from a good old beer buzz.

Normally I’m a proponent of just drinking Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, but if you must imbibe something unnaturally green, you could do worse than Agwa. For something crazier than club soda and lime, the Agwa folks have a whole bunch of more creative drink recipes over on their YouTube channel, or try it at bars like New York’s Macondo, where it’s mixed with honey, agave nectar, avocado (!) and lime.