Dublin-born chef and restauranteur Robin Gill is best known for transforming Clapham into a culinary destination and bringing amazing modern Irish cuisine to London via his award-winning restaurants including Darby’s, Bermondsey Larder, Sorella, Rye By The Water and The Zebra Riding Club, and formerly also The Dairy. Robin has also been a longstanding supporter of Social Pantry, cooking alongside ex-offenders as part of our Social Supper Club for Key4Life, and joining Social Pantry founder Alex Head to deliver four vegetarian and vegan feasts at Wilderness Festival as part of The Wilderness Kitchen.
For St Patrick’s Day, Robin has shared the recipe for his legendary Beef, Guinness & Bone Marrow Pie. This pie is a signature dish on the menu at Darby’s and celebrates the best of Irish food culture and sustainability-forward zero-waste nose-to-tail cooking. The recipe calls for ox cheeks, beef mince, and bone marrow – all of which you will be able to purchase from your local butcher. It’s a great opportunity to talk to your local butcher about the different cuts of meat they source which you may not find in supermarkets. Robin recommends The Ginger Pig which boasts 8 shops across London, however you can order high quality meat online for nationwide delivery from sustainable suppliers such as The Ethical Butcher, Coombe Farm Organic or Farmison.
At Darby’s, the chefs take show-stopping zero-waste pie to the next level, using meat from retired dairy cows and making the pastry lid out of scraps of leftover croissant dough from the bakery. Our at-home version simply calls for puff pastry which you can buy pre-made if you don’t feel confident making it yourself. Ox cheeks are the perfect cut to use, however short rib or feather blade. This pie serves 4-6 people and is best enjoyed with traditional Irish champ potatoes and seasonal greens.
- 5kg Ox Cheeks (short rib or feather blade will also work)
- 3kg minced beef
- 1 bone marrow, cut 3 inches
- 1.5ltr Guinness (reduced 1/3)
- 5ltr brown chicken stock
- 3 ltr Red wine (reduced 1/3)
- 8 banana shallots (cut in half and blackened)
- 2kg chestnut mushrooms (cut in half and charred on a grill or bbq)
- 20 cloves garlic peeled, sliced and caramelised in oil til golden and drained
- Parsley / tarragon / chevril / shallot, diced, all chopped on the day to add to stew to finish.
- 1.5kg potato (roughly diced)
- 1kg carrots (diced)
- 2 heads celery (diced)
- Fresh black pepper
- Worcester sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 sheets of puff pastry (from the fridge)
- Egg for egg wash
- Prepare the meat. Cook the ox cheeks sous vide with butter, bay leaves and black pepper at 85C for 8 hours, or caramelise in butter and place into a pot on a low simmer or in an oven dish with the stocks and Guinness for 2-3 hours until tender.
- Heat vegetable oil in a 3ltr pan and caramelise the beef mince, shallots, mushrooms and garlic in batches until darkly caramelised. A whisk and scraper are useful to achieve an even colour and avoid burning. Drain the fat through a small hole in a steamer tray and reuse the oil between batches.
- Bring 1.5ltr Guinness to a boil until reduced by 1/3. Repeat with 3ltr red wine.
- Bring the stocks and reduced alcohols to a simmer together in a large pan. Add to cooked mince, charred shallots, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook for an hour over a gentle heat, skimming the fat regularly.
- Next, add the potatoes to cook in the broth. 8 minutes later, add the carrots and celery.
- Flake down the ox cheek and add to broth along with the cooking liquor.
- Season stew heavily with fresh black pepper, Worcester sauce and balsamic vinegar.
- On the day of cooking the whole pie, add the freshly chopped herbs and aromatics to the broth.
- Work with the pastry whilst cold and cut into 2cm strips.
- To assemble the pie, start by placing the bone marrow in the centre of the dish. Add the pie mixture all around the dish, close to the top. Take the strips of puff pastry and wrap in a circular motion in one layer.
- Egg wash the top and bake for 20 minutes at 180 C until golden and crispy.
- Serve with champ potatoes (mash with scallions) and steamed seasonal greens if desired.