Steak and Ale Pie


Steak and Ale Pie is a traditional dish of what is today the United Kingdom, as well as Ireland. It’s a country dish, made by commoners in a time before technology, when using every ounce of what you had was absolutely necessary to feed a family.

This hearty Steak and Ale Pie recipe is full of robust gravy, tender steak, light pastry and dark beer – a true mix of rich ingredients. It was common for families living hundreds of years ago in Europe to take scraps of left over beef, scraps of steaks and vegetables, wrapped completely in dough (of any kind), and cooked until the dough was a nice, golden brown.

The result was a steaming powerhouse of flavors – a symphony of simplicity.

It is from these recipes that the famous British pies that have continues to be a part of the common culinary culture, as well as off-shoots that traveled overseas such as Chicken Pot Pie. They’re dishes of sustenance that feed entire families using simple techniques, and whatever good stuff you might have available.

While this Steak and Ale Pie is a little more sophisticated, feel free to experiment. Ideally, these pie recipes are made to convert into something personalized, and are fun to experiment. If you like spice – add peppers. If you like corn – throw some in.

This is a fantastic, and simple, recipe that you can eat on for days if you’re solo, or provide a tasty dinner for the entire family!

Steak and Ale Pie

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 10 oz frozen puff pastry thawed
  • 2 tablespoons lard or olive oil
  • ½ pound cubed beef
  • ¼ pound carrots diced (an 8¼ -oz. can sliced carrot OR a 4.5-oz. jar sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ pound turnips diced (a 4-oz. turnip, diced and heated for a minute in the microwave)
  • ½ pound peeled and cubed new potatoes
  • ¼ pound onions diced (4 oz.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup bitter ale Fuller's ESB or Guinness, preferably
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375° Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.
  • Heat up a medium-sized skillet over high heat. Add the fat, then meat. Toss to coat meat, and sauté just long enough to brown meat on all sides. Remove from heat.
  • Place meat in a large bowl with the carrots or mushrooms (I prefer to use mushrooms in the recipe), turnip, potatoes, and onion.
  • Mix well, then pour in a 9" pie pan/dish.
  • Place 1 cup water and ale in the skillet you browned the meat in. Bring to a simmer. Mix cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water until smooth in a small bowl or cup.
  • Slowly pour cornstarch mixture into simmering ale mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to simmer until mixture has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour mixture over meat and vegetables in pie pan. Trim puff pastry to fit over top of filling.
  • Cut a nice little hole in the center of the top of the pastry cover to insure it can vent as it bakes, then put the pie in your preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until pastry is deep golden brown.

Cover photo credit – Goddards Pies Limited [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

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