Steak & Ale Pie

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Screenshot_2016-04-25-21-32-15-1[1] 26/04/2016

An unadulterated British classic! Pie and mash! The beef shin used in this recipe goes meltingly tender during it’s long stint in the oven and the ale and beef stock create a rich, deep flavoured gravy that clings to the smoky bacon and onions to deliver a huge flavour punch. Topped with buttery, crisp pastry, this is a pie to get you back on track in life and assure you everything will be alright – seriously.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 900g stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 3cm cubes
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 long shallots, quartered
  • 125g smoked streaky bacon rashers, cut into 1cm strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped thyme leaves
  • 330ml stout
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, blended with 2 tbsp water to make a smooth paste
  • ½ puff pastry block

METHOD:

  1.  Season the beef cubes with salt and black pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and fry the meat over a high heat. Do this in several batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, transferring each batch of meat to a plate as it is browned. Set aside.
  2.  Add another tablespoon of oil to the casserole dish and cook the shallots for four to five minutes, then add the bacon and fry until slightly browned. Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds, then tip the meat into the casserole dish and add the herbs. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C.
  3. Pour the stout into the pan and bring it to the boil, stirring to lift any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock. Put a lid on the casserole dish and place it in the oven for two hours, or until the beef is tender and the sauce has reduced.
  4.  Remove the casserole dish from the oven and skim off any surface fat. Taste the sauce and add seasoning if necessary, then stir in the cornflour paste.
  5.  Put the casserole dish on the hob and simmer the mixture for one to two minutes, stirring, until thickened. Transfer to a pie dish and leave to cool.
  6. Roll out the puff pastry to the size of your pie dish and lay it over the filling. Make a small hole in the centre for the steam to escape while cooking. Brush the pastry with a little milk.
  7. When ready, bake the pie in the oven for 30 minutes at 200C/fan 180C until the pastry is golden brown and the pie is bubbling hot.
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