St George’s Day, British Beef Week and The British Pie awards…all in one?!

Last Wednesday, In Melton Mowbray was The British Pie awards.  Unfortunately I couldn’t go, but with last week also being British Beef week, it inspired me to post my recipe for Something that would Bring both together and of course this week we have just had the mighty St George’s Day.  I believe that this recipe can cover all three! 

 Steak in Ale pie:

Now of course, most Pie recipes are all going to be very similar or even the same.  But one thing I do know is that with my Pie or pies they are always bursting with intense flavour and very rustic.  (As you will see by the picture).  I also love Puff pastry on most of my meat pies, So I have to admit, I always buy in my Puff pastry.  Shortcrust and sweet pastry is a different matter for me.

Recipe: Pie mixture:

Olive oil
Plain Flour (1-2 tbsp’s)
400g of Diced Beef (chuck, shin or just stewing beef)
1 white onion diced, half into 1 cm diced and the other half left quite chunky but no bigger than the meat.
1 Tsp Garlic powder
1/2 Tsp Mustard Powder
Beef Stock 1 or 2 cubes depending what you have with about 250ml water
400 ml Ale ( I used Newcastle Brown Ale)
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
A good splash of Worcester sauce
A Sprig of Fresh Thyme and 2 bay leaves strung together
1 slice of smoked bacon
1-2 carrots depending on how big they are
1/2 stick of celery
2-3 chestnut mushrooms
1/2 mushroom stock cube (porcini)

So the very first thing you must do is dry off your meat first. I.E pat the meat with kitchen cloth and coat the meat in Flour.  This will help Brown the meat better and lock in the flavour.
 Fry off the meat until Browned in colour. Fry off the Chunky diced onion with the beef until the onion slightly softens.  Add the fresh herbs, Tomato puree, Worcester sauce, mustard powder, garlic and of course the Ale! 
 You will need to cook the meat for a good 1 and a half hours until almost fully tender.  you may need even longer. 
 Turn your oven onto 180 c gas mark 4.
 Now what I usually do whilst this is cooking nicely, I chop up the rasher of smoked bacon and fry off just until cooked and place onto a plate or bowl.  Then dice up the carrot, celery and the other half of the onion finely and fry off until soft… in the same pan will be fine.  Again add the mix to the bacon. And finally chop the mushrooms as you require and fry off also.  Add the mushroom stock cube to the pie mix and all other vegetables.  Now if this isn’t thick enough you may need to add a little bit of gravy granules and also season to taste. 
  Flour your surface ready for your pastry and You just need to roll it out to about 1/2 cm thickness.  Place mixture into a pie dish (suitable for the oven) and place your pastry on top.   This part is totally up to you of how neat, rustic you want it to be?  Let the pastry hang over the edge and just use a knife to slice it off around the edges and press down to the dish.   Just don’t forget to egg wash the pastry to give it a lovely golden colour. 
 Bake for about 20-30 minutes.  If you try this recipe maybe on a Sunday instead of a roast… just promise me you will have it with Mashed Potato?! 


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