The Best Steak & Ale Pie

This is a wonderfully delicious pie full of rich flavours- the perfect pie for chilly weather!
Servings: 6 yield(s)
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 120 mins
Total Time: 135 mins
Ingredients
    For the pie filling
  • 3 - 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 200 g smoked streaky bacon rashers (cut into 1cm strips)
  • 2 medium onions (peeled, halved & sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled & finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1.5 kg good quality stewing steak (cut into 2.5cm cubes)
  • 450 ml bottle of real ale (I used Newcastle Brown Ale)
  • 500 ml good beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp creamed horseradish sauce
  • 3 - 4 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves stripped from stalks & finely chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • For the pie
  • 325 g ready-made short crust pastry
  • 325 g ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 egg (beaten to glaze)
  • To serve
  • mashed potatoes
  • seasonal vegetables
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the bacon and onions until pale golden in colour and then add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Set aside using a slotted spoon.
  2. Season the steak with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Now heat 1-2 tbsp of oil to the frying pan and add the steak, you may have to do this in batches. Fry the meat until it is well browned all over. Add more oil if necessary. Set aside.
  3. Deglaze the frying pan with half of the ale. Bring the ale to the boil and stir hard to remove all the sediment from the base of the pan. Transfer the steak and bacon to the frying pan then add the remaining ale, stock, tomato puree, horseradish and herbs to the dish. Bring to the boil and then cover, simmer for 1 ½ hour or until the meat is very tender. Mix the corn flour with 2tbsp of cold water and add to the pan. Continue to simmer uncovered for a further 5 minutes or until the juices are thick. Season to taste and allow to cool.
  4. In the meantime preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Remove the bay leaves and then strain the liquid from the meat but add some of the gravy to suit your taste. Set aside the rest of the gravy to serve with the pie.
  5. Roll out the short crust pastry to 4mm thick and line a 1.2 litre pie dish, leave the excess pastry hanging over the edge. Spoon the cooled beef mixture into the dish, brush the edge of the pastry with the beaten egg.
  6. Roll out the puff pastry to 4mm thick and large enough to cover the pie. Place the pastry over the pie and press the edges firmly together to seal and trim neatly. Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg. Decorate with trimmings and brush with more egg to glaze. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown. Serve with mash, seasonal vegetables and the remaining gravy. Enjoy!