Snail & Guinness Pie

Richard O'Connell / October 2012

For 6 servings

  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/3" cubes and blanched
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 splashes brandy
  • 100 ml bottle Guinness
  • 7 Tbsps. gravy made from chicken stock
  • 7 Tbsps. heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 5 1/4 oz. can snails, washed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  • 1/8 tsp. parsley
  • short pastry (for covering pies)
  • 1 lg. egg
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.

  2. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a saucepan set over medium heat; add pancetta, shallot, and garlic; cook until pancetta is brown; add brandy; set on fire; cook until flame extinguishes; add Guinness; reduce by 50 percent; add gravy, cream, and thyme; reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois into clean bowl; stir in mustard and snails; reserve.

  3. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet; add mushrooms; cook until softened; pour off any liquid in pan; stir mushrooms and parsley into sauce; cool filling.

  4. Divide among 6  6" ramekins, placing 8 snails in each and making sure each contains mushrooms and parsley; fill 2/3 full.

  5. Roll out pastry until about 1/8" thick; cut out 6 rounds 1/3" larger than diameter of ramekins; place a round on top of each ramekin; lightly whisk egg in small bowl; brush over each pastry round; press lightly on pastry at edges to seal; cook until filling is warmed through and crust is brown (about 14 minutes); remove from oven. To serve, place on serving plates.

What to drink: Sambrook’s Brewery Junction Ale
Chef’s Note: You can also mix chopped parsley into pastry scraps after rounds have been cut out: roll out scraps until about 1/8" thick; cut out with shamrock cookie cutter; brush with egg and place a shamrock on top of each pie.