I didn’t get chance to enjoy the dish that inspired this steak and ale pie recipe while I was in Edinburgh this summer so upon my return set about making the next best thing. A few years back I ordered a steak and ale pie made with Edinburgh’s Innis and Gunn beer and it was stunning. Luckily London supermarkets sell the stuff so I have never made steak and guinness stew or pie since. You can substitute the Innis and Gunn with another golden beer or Guinness.
Steak and Ale Pies
800g braising steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 2.5cm cubes
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
150g shallots, peeled and topped and tailed
150g button mushrooms, quartered
250g Chantaney carrots, topped and cut in half lengthways
330ml Innis and Gunn original ale, or other ale
beef stock cube (I use Knorr stock pot gel stock)
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of thyme, 2 sprigs parsley, 1 sprig rosemary tied with string)
freshly ground black pepper
500g block puff pastry
Pre heat the oven to 160c or gas mark 3.
Heat a third of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan and brown the meat briskly in batches, without overcrowding the pan. Transfer the browned beef to a casserole pot.
Add a little more butter and oil to the pan and fry the onion and shallots until lightly browned. Scoop into the casserole. Finally fry the mushrooms and carrots then add those to the casserole too.
Pour the ale into the frying pan and bring to the boil, scraping in the brown residues from frying. Stir in the stock cube, tomato puree and sugar.
Pour the ale mixture into the casserole, add enough hot water to just cover the meat and add the bouquet garni and freshly ground pepper.
Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours or until the meat is very tender. Check occasionally, giving it a stir, and if necessary add a little more hot water.
About 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the pastry from the fridge.
Once the stew is done, remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 220c or gas mark 7. Divide the meat mixture between 4 individual pie dishes.
Roll out the pastry and brush the edges of the pie dishes with water then cover with the pastry. Press down and trim the edges, pierce a couple of holes in the middle of each pie to let steam escape.
Cook for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.