Steak and Ale Pie is a traditional British dish made with hearty beef and vegetable stew flavoured with ale.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
100g smoked bacon lardons
1kg beef shin
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp malt or red wine vinegar
400ml sweet brown ale
600ml beef stock (2 Stock cubes)
few thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
For the Pastry
700g plain flour
tsp English mustard powder
2 egg yolks
To make the pastry, mix the flour, mustard powder, lard and butter with a generous pinch of salt until completely combined, then gradually add up to 250ml ice-cold water to make a soft dough. Knead the thyme leaves into the pastry, then cover and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hr.
Heat oven to 160c. Heat the vegetable oil in a large casserole dish and gently fry the bacon for 5 mins until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, brown the beef well in batches for 5-8 mins, then set aside.
Add the onions and carrots to the pan and cook on a low heat for 5 mins. Stir in the flour, then add the tomato purée and vinegar. Tip the beef and bacon, along with any juices, back into the pan and give it all a good stir. Pour in the ale and stock mixture and add in the thyme stalks and bay. Season generously and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for about 2 hrs. Leave everything to cool slightly, then strain off about half the braising liquid into another container. Leave to cool completely.
Heat the oven to 220C and put a baking tray in the oven. Heavily butter a 26-28cm pie dish and dust well with flour. Cut off a third of the pastry and set aside. Roll out the remaining pastry to a thick round that will easily line the pie dish with an overhang, then line the tin. Tip in the beef mixture. You want the filling to be slightly higher than the rim of the dish. Brush the edges with egg yolk.
Roll out the remaining pastry to a thick round, big enough to cover the pie, then lift onto the pie dish. Trim the edges, crimp together, then re-roll the trimmings and cut into decorative shapes, such as leaves. Brush the top with more yolk. Make a hole in the centre of the pie with a knife, and put it on the hot baking tray.
Bake for 20 mins, remove, brush again with yolk, scatter with salt and bake for 20-25 mins until golden.
Leave the Steak and Ale Pie to rest for 10 mins.
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