Steak & Ale Pie


  •  For the pastry:
  •  3 cups (384 grams) all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup (8 ounces/226 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and kept cold until ready to use
  •  1/2 cup (118 ml) cold water
  •  1 large egg beaten to brush on pastry
  •  For the filling:
  •  1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  •  1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  •  2 pounds (907 grams) beef chuck, cut into bite size cubes
  •  1 medium onion, chopped
  •  2 large carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  •  2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  •  2 tablespoons tomato paste
  •  2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  •  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •  3/4 cup (177 ml) dark English ale
  •  1/2 cup (118 ml) beef stock
  •  1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  •  1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  1 large egg, beaten
  •  1 bag dried beans


  1. For the pastry:
  2. To a food processor add the flour and salt and butter. Pulse until you get the texture of fine breadcrumbs. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in cold water until it forms a ball. You may need more or less water depending on the dough.
  3. Remove and shape into a ball on a floured board. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  4. For the filling:
  5. Add the vegetable oil and butter to a large, heavy, ovenproof saucepan or braising pan over medium high heat. Add the beef and cook, turning the pieces until brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  6. To the same pan, add the onion and carrots and cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to mix well and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well until all the flour is well mixed. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the ale and stir until it starts to thicken. Stir in the beef, beef stock, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  8. Cover with a lid and allow to come to a low simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for 15 more minutes to thicken the liquid. You do not want it too runny, it should be thick.
  9. Roll out the other half onto a floured surface to a thickness of 1/8 of an inch. Cut a circle from the dough 1/2 inch larger than your pan and place into the pie dish allowing the edge to hang over.
  10. Cut a large circle of parchment paper or foil larger than the pan or and place on top of the pastry in the pie dish. Pour the dried beans to the centre to weigh down the dough. Or, place a piece of foil on top of the dough and weigh down with an oven-proof dish that will fit inside. Bake for 12 minutes until you start to see the edges get a little golden brown.
  11. Remove the crust from the oven, grab the corners of the paper or foil and remove the beans. Make holes in the bottom of the pastry with a fork to prevent it puffing. If it puffs, it should go down.
  12. Return the crust to the oven for 5 more minutes to cook the bottom of the pastry.
  13. Once the crust is out of the oven take the rest of the dough and roll out onto a floured surface and cut a 10-inch circle.
  14. Fill the cooked crust with the beef filling.
  15. Brush the edges of the cooked pastry with the egg. Roll the pastry circle over your rolling pin, lift and place on top of the pie with the egg washed edges down so they stick to the other dough, pinch the edges or press with a fork.
  16. Brush with the entire top with egg wash and cut a couple of slits in the center of the crust. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.