Steak & Ale Pie

| Leave a Comment

Last Saturday, I set out to make a Steak & Ale pie. It’s a British classic and one of my all-time pub favourites, so I grabbed a bottle of Bath Ale and set to work.

DSC08757 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

DSC087631 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

For the filling:

  • 1 lb braising steak
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bottle of dark ale
  • 1.5 cups beef stock
  • dash of red wine vinegar
  • dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 2 bay leaves

For the topping:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable lard
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cold water

DSC08633 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

First, make sure you have some fresh steak from the butcher. We buy all of our meat from the butcher now and it has made a massive difference in taste and price!

DSC08632 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Also, make sure you get a good quality dark ale. I used locally brewed Bath Ales Dark Side.

DSC08638 700x1051 Steak & Ale Pie

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and use it to coat your beef.

DSC08644 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Melt a tablespoon of buter and make sure your pan is good and hot. Add the flour-coated steak to the pan in small batches. You may have to melt more butter before each batch.

Make sure you don’t crowd the pan or your steak will stew rather than brown!

DSC08649 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Once the steak is browned, add it to your crock pot with 1/4 of the bottle of ale. Turn the crock pot to high and cover until the ale starts bubbling.

DSC08654 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Meanwhile, add your shallots and garlic to the pan you just used for the beef and cook them on medium heat until they soften.

DSC08657 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Add them to the crock pot…

DSC08659 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Now add the beef stock,

DSC08675 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

followed by the rest of the ale.

DSC08677 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Add a dash of red wine vinegar,

DSC08678 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

… and a heaped spoonful of brown sugar.

DSC08679 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Finally, add two bay leaves, turn the crock pot down to low and leave it for 3-4 hours.

DSC08681 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

For the pastry

Sift the flour and salt in a bowl.

DSC08683 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Cut up the butter into cubes and add it, cutting it in with the flour mixture using two knives.

DSC08687 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Make a well and add half of the cold water.

DSC08692 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

You won’t need all of the water, but add bit by bit until the pastry holds together.

DSC086971 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for a few hours.

DSC08747 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Assembling the pie

After your beef has cooked, bring it back to room temperature and preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Transfer the filling to your pie dish.

DSC08752 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Roll out your pastry.

DSC08748 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Top your pie with the pastry and make sure you’ve cut some slits on the top. Brush the top of the pastry with milk or egg yolk. (I actually didn’t do this because I couldn’t find my brush)

DSC08754 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Bake for 30 minutes or until your pastry is golden and puffed. Mine didn’t puff very well because I ran out of butter and had to use vegetable lard :(

DSC08757 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

DSC087631 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

This pie passed the Chris test!

DSC08767 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Yes, I’m drinking coke out of a wine glass…

DSC08770 700x465 Steak & Ale Pie

Bon appetit!