Steak and ale pie
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
700g (1½lb) braising steak
200g (7oz) thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
250g (9oz) shallots, halved
3 carrots, thickly sliced
2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
25g (1oz) plain flour
500ml (18fl oz) bottle real ale such as Black Sheep
250ml (9fl oz) beef stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
250g (9oz) pack button mushrooms
1 375g (13oz) pack ready-made flaky pastry
1 Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based pan and fry the steak in batches until well browned, removing with a slotted spoon and setting aside as you go. Fry the bacon until browned and add to the steak. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the shallots, carrots, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until shallots are golden.
2 Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in ale and stock, bring to the boil while stirring and return meat to the pan with the thyme and bay. Simmer for 2 hours. Season to taste. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and cook mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add to the meat and cook for 30 minutes. Spoon into a pie dish.
3 Roll out the pastry and cut a shape slightly larger than your pie dish, then cut out 1cm wide strips to place on the pie rim. Brush the pie rim with egg and press strips on top. Lay the pastry on top and then ‘knock up’ the edges to seal them together. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 20-25 minutes.