Beef and Ale Pie
I am intending to start building a business here in London after being made redundant from my job. My intention is to offer a whole lot of Antipodean fare as you really can’t access things like good pies or good old Kiwi baking here in the UK. The English use shortcrust pastry for their savoury pies for goodness sake, it’s just not the same.
If you are finding it expensive to send goodies from Australia or New Zealand Aotearoa, keep me in mind for a basket/hamper of goodies as a Christmas present, a list of things available will be published in the next week or two.
1kg diced chuck steak (2cm)
2 carrots finely diced
1 medium onion finely diced
2 sticks of celery finely diced
1 clove of garlic finely grated or chopped
500g pre-prepared rolled flaky pastry
20ml oil, butter or lard for browning the beef
1 x 500ml can of ale or stout
1 Tblsp tomato paste
1 Tblsp fresh parsley
2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 beef stock cube or 125ml beef stock
1 Tblspn cornflour and 100 ml of water for thickening the sauce.
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a heavy pan with a lid on a medium heat and add the oil, butter or lard then add the diced chuck steak, stirring and browning the meat.
Once the meat has caramelised and the moisture content has reduced back to leave just the fat content, add the diced vegetables and garlic. Stir until vegetables are soft and lightly coloured.
Add the ale, beef stock cube and tomato past, the liquid ought to cover the meat but if not add some water so that the meat and vegetables are covered.
Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low, simmer for about 1.5 hours until the meat is soft and tender.
Mix the cornflour with some cold water and pour into the meat, ale and vegetable mixture stir while pouring in, it should thicken instantly.
Add the fresh chopped parsley and thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and allow mixture to cool.
Building the Pie(s)
To make individual pies I use four 16cm enamel pie dishes oiled to stop the pastry sticking. If making one large family sized pie, use a 26cm pie tin.
Cut the pastry to the shape and size of the dish. Line the greased pie dishes with pastry with about a 1 cm over hang of pastry for the lid to stick to.
Once lined with pastry, add the cooled filling, don’t overfill though as you don’t want the filling to expand and leak out.
With a pastry brush or your fingers wet the over hang of pastry and take your lid (pre-cut it to the shape and size of the dish) and place it on top. Press down the edges with a fork or your fingers so that it’s well sealed and poke a couple of holes in the lid to help release the steam.
Brush the top with a little beaten egg to give the pastry a nice gloss after it cooks.
Place in a 180°C oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the pie is golden brown.
Serve with mash and peas.