Steak and Ale Pie by Elley our resident cook

steak and ale pie

Steak and Ale Pie by Elley our resident cook

There is nothing like a pie to cheer the soul.  The combination of pastry, often buttery, with meat and gravy will steal a place in any heart.  Here is what you need to do:-

INGREDIENTS For the pastry:

Cheat! Buy a packet of puff pastry. You have been working hard all Christmas, give yourself a break! You’ll need two sheets.

For the filling:

1kg/2lb 4oz braising steak, cut into small chunks

3 tbsp plain flour

3 tbsp locally sourced rape seed oil

300ml/½ pint of brown ale

2 onions

500g/1lb 2oz mushrooms

250g/9oz carrots

2 sticks of celery

300ml/½ pint good quality beef stock

1 tbsp tomato purée o 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Good knob of butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bay leaf

Handful of fresh thyme sprigs

1 free range egg, beaten


1.First of all, line your pie tin with half the pastry (one sheet.) Allow over hang so you can crimp edges together when you place on the top sheet. Place pastry case in fridge.

2. In a large bowl mix the meat with the flour, salt and pepper to taste. Coat the meat well.

3. In a large based casserole or pan, heat up a tablespoon of oil and brown off the meat. Start by heating the oil on the floor of the roasting oven to get the pan really hot and then transfer to simmering plate. Keep it moving for about 8-10 mins.

4. When the meat is golden brown add half the ale and pop the lid on the casserole, then stick it in the simmering oven.

5. Chop the onion, carrots, celery and garlic into small chunky pieces and soften in a different pan, along with a tablespoon of oil and the herbs.

6. Bring the casserole out of the simmering oven and place on the simmering plate. Transfer your herbs and vegetables into the casserole.

7. Pour in the stock and the rest of the ale, then add the balsamic vinegar and tomato purée, ensuring that the meat is covered in liquid.

8. Bring to the boil on the boiling plate and then cover and transfer to the simmering oven for about 1-1½ hours.

9. Set aside to cool.

10. In Addition, chop the mushrooms roughly and fry them off in a frying pan in the butter for a few mins. Add these to the pie filling.

11. If not using an Aga, then pre-heat your oven to about 200ºC/Gas Mark 6.

12. Once the filling has cooled, pour into the pie base and place over the last sheet of pastry. Using a sharp knife, trim the pastry to fit and then crimp the edges.

13. Furthermore, cut a couple of slits in the top of the pie to release the steam and brush over with the beaten egg.

14. Finally, place the pie on the floor of the roasting oven and bake for 30 mins, or until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is a golden brown and puffy.