Steak and Ale Pie

As the weather turns cold and the nights draw in our tastes turn to warming food from our childhoods.  What is better than a steaming hot home baked pie to cast your taste buds back to the care free days of Mother’s cooking.

This particular day I picked up some good steak and a bottle of Ale from the supermarket and the pie was gone in minutes.


Steak or Stewing Beef  cut into bite size pieces 
salt and pepper
sprigs of Thyme 
onions chopped finely 
Pastry –  I cheated and used shop bought plus egg or milk for glazing

I use a new plastic bag for preparing the meat.  I find them great for marinades as well.

Fill the bag with a generous couple of spoons of flour – plain is good.    This is one place where I make a point of adding salt and pepper.  I also threw in a couple of Thyme sprigs to bring out the flavour of the beef.

Add the meat and toss it around well, making sure all the little mouthfuls have some flour on them.

Meanwhile in a little butter fry the onions until they are soft 

Add in the pre-floured steak and mix well.  

It becomes quite gloopy so keep stirring till the meat is lightly browned.

Slowly pour in the ale.  I like to use a good quality one and usually try and get a fun named one.  It is great to get more than one bottle and drink with dinner as they compliment each other well.

Let the mixture slowly come to the boil stirring often so nothing is allowed to stick to the pan base and burn.   As soon as it is bubbling turn the heat down and let it simmer for a while.  Add the mushrooms but remember to keep stirring often though.

If you feel it is too dry add a little water.  You need it to have some liquid left to cook in while in the oven.

You can leave it to cool slightly as you roll out the pastry.  This does not have to be beautifully exact; the more rustic the more it will evoke childhood memories.  

Cover the pie  and use the odd bits of pastry to decorate.   Cut a few steam holes through the pastry.  Beating the egg or using milk glaze the top of the pastry.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes depending on your oven. The pastry will turn a golden brown and you will see the mixture underneath bubbling and trying to break through the cover.

Serve with lots of brightly coloured vegetables and some mash potatoes.  If you wish to add a gravy keep some of the ale back and use this to enhance the flavour.

Warming and popular and you can add kidney (take out the mushrooms), try adding bacon lardons.  Change the meat to chicken and add leeks or  mushrooms again – use white wine with this.  With game dishes making a re-appearance on dinner menus try some venison or rabbit.  Let me know what you enjoy.



Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Dawn Chorus

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