You might have noticed that this blog is considerably lacking in savoury recipes. That’s not to say I don’t cook savoury dishes, but I just prefer sweet. I very rarely have any idea or recipe when I cook savoury dishes (it’s usually just, handful of this, bit of that, add this just for fun…) and can never remember exactly what I added. I find it so much easier to photograph sweet dishes, and there’s no having to eat cold food! But this photograph is of pre-cooked pies, which I think works just as well (so still no eating cold food! Winner).
I uploaded this photo to Twitter a couple of weeks ago and it got quite a bit of interest, and since I haven’t had a chance to cook anything this week with uni and work being so busy, I thought I would upload the recipe today, and it follows on quite nicely from Monday’s post. I actually did make a note of this recipe since it was so nice, and I knew I’d want to make it again.
This is a classic, British, pub pie, and it’s seriously good. The steak and ale pie filling smells so nice whilst it’s cooking that you’ll want to eat it before it even gets to the pie case. The shell of the pie is shortcrust pastry, rich and soft, but the top of the pie is puff pastry, flaky and crunchy. The tiny individual pies are completely optional- you can always swap it for a large, family pie- but they look so professional and I am all for pretending I’m a professional.
The pastry mat in the photograph above is a great help when rolling out pastry for lining cases. You can measure the pastry out against the guidelines so you know if the pastry is big enough. It’s a few years old and originally came from Lakeland (my second home), I’m not sure if they still sell them but you’ll definitely be able to find them on eBay or Amazon if not! I would certainly recommend them- not only do they help with rolling and guides, but it stops your work surface getting covered in flour! (I apologise if this sounds like some kind of product pushing. It isn’t, I just really like this pastry mat!)
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MAKES 6 individual pies
PREP 1-1½ hours to cook filling (best cooked day before to allow filling to thicken overnight)
COOK 30 mins
▪ Filling can be cooked a day in advance. Pies are best eaten on day of prep.
450g stewing steak
Salt and pepper
300ml dark ale
1 large onion, diced
3 medium potatoes cut into small cubes
1 beef stock cube
3tsp cornflour mixed in water
500g (1 block) shortcrust pastry
500g (1 block) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
1 Cut the steak into smaller chunks. Put into a plastic freezer bag with the flour and a little salt and pepper. Seal the bag, then shake well until all the meat is covered in the flour.
2 Add 1tbsp of the oil to a large pan. Heat on a medium heat, add the meat, and fry until browned. It will take about ten mins. Don’t worry if it sticks, just scrape off the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat, pour in a little ale, then put in a bowl and reserve for later.
3 Wipe out pan. Add the remaining oil and fry the onions and potatoes until translucent and soft, then return the meat to the pan. Pour in the rest of the ale and crumble in the stock cube. Put the lid on the pan, turn the heat down low and leave for about 1- 1½ hours.
4 After the time, if the sauce is still a bit runny, add in the cornflour. Leave to cool, ideally overnight, as this will thicken the gravy.
5 Next, pre-heat the oven to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4. Roll out the shortcrust pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick. Cut into circles and line six individual pie dishes with pastry. Use a blunt knife to trim off the pastry around the edges.
6 Fill with a generous tablespoon of the meat mixture.
7 Roll out the puff pastry. Cut into circles about 1cm bigger than the top of the pie dish. Brush around the edges of the shortcrust pastry lining with the beaten egg, then put the puff pastry circle on top. Use a fork to press together the edges, then trim off any excess pastry around the edge.
8 Brush the top with beaten egg. Use a fork to pierce holes in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry has risen, and is crisp and golden brown. Serve with chips and gravy for a proper pub meal! ▪