Sunday, March 24, 2013

Recipe #215: Beef and Ale Pie

Fantastic English dish!  I didn't make it look all that pretty (since I get in fights with anything involving dough), but it was delicious!!!  Can't wait to have the leftovers.  I am pasting this recipe with its European measurements, with my comments and changes.


900g (about 2lbs) good quality stewing beef, diced
25g (enough for coating the meat) flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, plus extra for dusting
100g (6-7tbsp) butter (I ended up skipping the butter completely)
olive oil
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped (I used one large one)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
250g (8oz) chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (I used crimini)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
400ml ale (a bottle)
500ml stock (1 beef stock cube)
1tsp tomato puree
3tbsp Worcester sauce
1tbsp Dijon mustard
2tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 egg and 1 extra yolk, beaten
300g ready-made rolled puff pastry (I used a 2-sheet pack, approx)


Toss the meat in the seasoned flour. Shake off any excess flour.

Heat a large pan and add ½ (50g) the butter and a drizzle of olive oil (Shockingly, I skipped the butter). Add the meat and cook, turning frequently until golden brown and sealed. This will take around 10 minutes.

Next add the onions, garlic, mushrooms and herbs, then pour in the ale and stock. Add the tomato puree,
Dijon mustard, Worcester sauce and balsamic vinegar and stir well.

Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for around 2 hours until the beef is meltingly tender (I cooked it for 1.5 hours and it was very soft). Taste and season the stew if necessary (it wasn't!). If you have too much liquid left, drain some off and thicken the remaining gravy with a little cornflour mixed with water (I didn't do this- I liked the sauce!).

Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof pie dish and cool.  (I had a casserole dish and no time to let it cool.)

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Cut a strip of pastry roughly the width of the rim of the pie dish long enough to fit all the way around the dish. Firmly place the pastry strip along the edge of the pie dish and brush with beaten egg.

Roll out the remaining pastry until you have a piece roughly the size and shape of the top of the pie dish. Lay
the pastry over the top of the filling, pressing the edges firmly together.

Pinch and flute the edges of the pastry, then trim off any remaining from around the edge. Make 2-3 small
slashes in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Cut out a few decorative leaves if you like, and
stick them into position with a little of the beaten egg around the steam vents.

Brush the pie top with beaten egg and place in the oven for approximately 25 minutes at 220C/Gas mark 7 (425 degrees), until the pastry is golden brown.

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