Last summer, Mike and I spent 2+ weeks in Great Britain, driving our way through Scotland, England and Wales.
One of the meals we frequently enjoyed was steak and ale pie. We were delighted to see how different pubs prepared this staple of British fare.
This winter, I set out to create steak and ale pie that would transport us to those delightful pubs we stopped at after hiking through the British countryside.
The results were divine. Although savory pies are going out of my recipe rotation as the seasons begin to change, this would be a fun recipe to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day or on one of those cold evenings we’re sure to have in March.
Steak and Ale Pie
This recipe is adapted from the cookbook "Cover and Bake" from America's Test Kitchen.
You'll bake it in a 9x13 pan.
This recipe serves 8.
- 3 pounds of chuck roast trimmed into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces of Guinness Extra Stout*
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 3/4 cup of beef broth
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- Vegetable oil
- Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, but into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled
- 8 tablespoons of vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
- 1/4 cup of vodka, chilled
- 1/4 cup of water, chilled
Preparing the pastry:
- In food processor, pulse 1 1/2 c. of flour with salt until combined.
- Add butter and shortening, and pulse until the mixture forms clumps.
- Sprinkle remaining cup of flour and pulse until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in cold water and vodka until dough sticks together.
- Divide dough into two even pieces and flatten them into rectangles. Wrap with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for 1 month.
Preparing the filling:
- Generously salt and pepper cut beef.
- Heat 1 T. of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven (or large skillet with a lid) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add half of the meat to the pot and let it cook on one side until well-browned. Do not stir the meat until one side is well browned.
- Once it is browned, stir the meat and continue to cook until the meat is completely browned. Remove meat from the pot and repeat with the remaining meat.
- Place all browned beef in a bowl and set aside.
- Cook carrots, onion and salt in the pot until the onions are soft. Keep a close eye on the pot and stir regularly to keep the onion from burning.
- Add the garlic to the pot, and cook 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook for about 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in beer, ensuring you incorporate the browned bits of vegetables and meat at the bottom of the pot.
- Whisk in beef broth, water, tomato paste and thyme, then stir in browned beef and any accumulated juices.
- Bring everything to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Assembling the pie:
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- Ten minutes before you want to assemble the pie, remove the pastry from the refrigerator and let it set at room temperature.
- Once pastry has set, roll out half of the pastry on a well-floured pastry mat. The dough will be very wet, so don’t be afraid to use plenty of flour and re-roll the pastry if needed. You want the pastry be rolled out large enough to cover the bottom and comes over the sides of a 9×13 glass dish.
- Once the pastry is rolled out, place in 9×13 baking dish so that it covers the bottom and comes up over the sides of the dish.
- Roll out the other half of the pastry. You want this part of the pastry large enough to lay over the top of the pie and to crimp the bottom pastry and top pastry together.
- Pour the prepared filling into the prepared 9×13 dish.
- Gently lay the rolled out pastry sheet on top of the filling, and crimp the bottom and top pastry together. Cut 4-6 small slits in the top pastry.
- Bake for until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly, approximately 30 minutes. Let the pie set at least 10 minutes before serving.
- I am a huge fan of Better than Boullion because of its great value, qaulity and taste. I used their beef base to make broth for this recipe.
- Make sure you cut your beef into 1/2 inch pieces. This allows the meat to become tender in a short amount of time.
- You can make the filling for this in advance and freeze it. You will need to warm the filling before assembling the pie to ensure that the crust doesn’t turn soggy.