Last night with the wind and the rain blowing outside I decided it was time for pie. Specifically a steak and ale pie for Alberto and I. I’ve made this recipe a couple of times before but not for a while so I thought it was about time I did it again!
It takes a couple of hours to do but it’s well worth the effort. I served it with wasabi mash, (rather hotter than normal as I bought a different, stronger, brand of wasabi paste than usual. I didn’t know it was stronger until I’d already used it.) steamed kale and a butter bean stew. (the butter beans were cooked in cider and there was ale in the pie – all in all a fairly alcoholic meal!)
Serves 3 (we had a slice left over – mmmmm, lunch!)
2 tablespoons of plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
650g of braising steak, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
4 tablespoons of tomato purée
300ml of ale
300ml of hot beef stock
500g of ready-made puff pastry
1 egg, beaten, for glaze
Sprinkle the flour onto a plate and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Coat the steak pieces in the seasoned flour.
In a large saucepan heat the oil and add the steak pieces in batches and fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden-brown.
Remove the cooked steak from the saucepan, transfer to a warm plate and set aside.
Add the shallots, onions and carrots to the emptied saucepan and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until just softened.
Add the thyme, bay leaves and tomato purée and stir well to combine.
Add the ale and stir well, scraping up any sediment from the bottom of the saucepan with a wooden spoon.
Return the browned steak pieces to the saucepan, add the hot stock, stir well and bring the mixture to the boil.
Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the beef is tender and the gravy has thickened. Stir frequently to avoid sticking
Peheat the oven to 220C.
Line a ceramic pie dish (mine’s about 8″ across) with a layer of puff pastry and then spoon the beef mixture into the dish. (I always remove the bay leaves, and as much of the thyme as possible, at this stage.)
Place the pastry top on the pie and press down to seal.
Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg (or milk) to glaze and then bake in the oven for half an hour until the pastry is golden.
Delicious. Rich, tasty and decidedly warming on a cold winter’s night.