The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield and Beef and Guinness Pie

This is the first book I have read by author Stephen Mansfield and I can report that I found it very interesting. It was Guinness that attracted me to the book cover and upon picking it up, found I had read several pages whilst leaning against the bookshelves at my local library. Why not bring it home?

This is story about the humble beginnings for Arthur Guinness’ career in brewing beer. While many people are under the impression that Arthur started up the family business after acquiring long lease on St James Gate, you will be quite engaged to read about the real beginnings of his brewing experience. Arthur had roughly 25 years of experience before he started up at St James Gate. As a matter of fact, he brought hops from his family home in Celbridge and began brewing in Dublin after years of experience with his father and on his own talent.

The company treated the employees very well. You’ve read or heard about the benefits provided by Google to their employees? The Guinness family were the precursors for that business model.

Guinness IS good for you!

Each of the facts I listed below is written about in detail in this book, telling of the circumstances.

From the book
Some Guinness facts:

* More than ten million glasses of Guinness are consumed each day worldwide. That is nearly two billion pints a year.

* In 1759, Arthur Guinness founded the Guinness brewery in Dublin by signing a lease for famous property St James Gate – a lease that has given him rights to that property for nine thousand years!

* It is a myth that the water for brewing Guinness comes from the River Liffey. Most of the water comes from the streams of the Wicklow Mountains which lies just south of Dublin .

* A Guinness worker during the 1920s enjoyed full medical and dental care, massage services, reading rooms, subsidized meals, a company funded pension, subsidies fro funeral expenses, educational benefits, free concerts and lectures and a guaranteed two pints of Guinness beer a day.

* During World War I, Guinness guaranteed all of its employees who served in uniform that their jobs would be waiting for them when they returned home. Guinness also paid half salaries to the family of each man who served.

* A Guinness chief medical officer, Dr John Lumsden, personally visited thousands of Dublin homes in 1900 and used what he learned to help the company fight disease, squalor and ignorance. These efforts also led to the establishment of the Irish version of the Red Cross, for which Dr. Lumsden was knighted by King George V.

Guinness was known for its care of its employees, One Guinness family member who headed the brewery said, “You cannot make money from people unless you are willing for people to make money from you.”

There were so many, “Oh I didn’t know that, how interesting” moments that I would stop and call out to Doug, “Listen to this” and proceed to share parts of this book.

We had been fortunate to have a family vacation in Ireland that took us to Arthur Guinness’ hometown of Celbridge and we enjoyed a pint there, talking to the bar maid about the town history, sipping our pints in the old pub on a chilly afternoon. We also took a tour of the brewery in Dublin and have our photo at the famous St James Gate. The tour was great but I wish I had read this book prior to going to Ireland .

A good read – I recommend it!

On to the Beef and Guinness Pie.

I made this (and read the book) a bit before I am posting this review. What with medical issues for our beloved shiba inu, everything else took a back seat while we got a handle on the problems. Without further wait – please enjoy the following!

Ingredients Needed:

1/4 pound of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
2 lb of chuck roast chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 red onion, diced
2 carrots, medium chunks
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 red or green bell pepper (I used green, sliced in tiny pieces)
8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 TB or chopped rosemary (my son brought home freshly cut rosemary!)
1 bottle or can of Guinness
1 cup of beef stock
1 box of puff pastry
1 egg
2 cups of cheddar cheese
Unsalted butter
salt and pepper
All-purpose flour


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Dredge the chunks of chuck roast in flour. Shake off excess.

Over medium heat cook the bacon, then remove and leave the grease in the pan. Add the chuck roast with some salt and pepper. Cook in batches if you need to so you do not crowd the pan.

Pour all but 1 TB of the fat out of the pan and add in the onion, carrot, celery, and green pepper. Add salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook till softened (about 5 minutes) then add garlic and cook for another minute.

Add in the Guinness and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen stuck bits. Add the stock, rosemary, thyme, bacon and chuck roast back into the pan.

Put the pan in the oven uncovered and cook till the chuck roast is tender (about 1 1/2 hours). Add more stock or beer if needed to be sure your dutch oven does not dry up before the meat is done. Once the meat is done remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Stir in the 2 cups of cheese.

Butter a pie pan or a pan that is 8-10 inches by a couple inches deep. Roll out a piece of puff pastry big enough to cover the pan with a little overhang. Pour the Guinness beef mixture into this. Beat the egg and spread it over the edges of the pan.

Roll out another piece of puff pastry large enough to cover the pan.

Slice through, making light slashes through the top. Place this piece on top and push down on the edges to seal. Brush the top with the beaten egg. Place in the oven till the puff pastry is golden brown (about 30-40 minutes).

I am placing this review on Goodreads and Librarything.

Hope you enjoyed this as much I enjoyed writing and eating!


4 thoughts on “The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield and Beef and Guinness Pie

  1. Tina – I didn't know, until just now, that you had a separate blog for reviewing books. That's awesome. I also didn't know that Guiness was such a good place to work. Maybe I should consider moving? LOL!That pie looks awesome.


  2. Hi Kim – I just recently started this book review blog up because I felt I was moving in another direction. I had so much time to think about , well…everything, when I was laid up ill with flu…and with so much going on with my son joining the Army. I love to read and this one just made sense follow my heart 🙂 Thanks for following!!


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