Guinness Bison Pot Pie

2008 Jan/Feb


  • 2 lbs boneless bison, cut into 1” chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 c. beef stock
  • 1 bottle Guinness or other Irish stout
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t. chopped fresh thyme, or 1 t. dried
  • 1 pkg frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


Pat the bison dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat a good drizzle of oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat and brown the bison in batches; transfer to a bowl when each batch is done.

Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the onions, then add the stock, Guinness, Worcestershire, thyme, and the bison, along with any juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down, cover, and cook for about 2 hours, until the bison is very tender. Alternatively, cover and transfer the pot to the oven and braise at 300°F for the same length of time.

Cool the bison mixture and divide among individual oven-proof ramekins, or pour it all into one deep baking dish. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out no thicker than ¼-inch. If you are topping individual ramekins, cut the pastry into rounds or squares about an inch larger than the dishes. Otherwise, cut to fit the casserole dish the same way. Brush about an inch around the border of each piece of pastry with the beaten egg and drape, egg side down, over each bowl, pressing on the edges to help the pastry adhere. Brush the tops of the pastry with a bit of egg and cut a few slits with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.

Put the dishes on a rimmed cookie sheet in case of drips, and bake until the pastry is puffed and golden and the stew is heated through, about 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.