Anna's Family Kitchen was inspired by my love of food and desire to feed my family healthy, home cooked wholesome meals that are beautifully presented and appealing but don’t require hours of prep in the kitchen.

Steak and Ale Pie

There’s nothing more comforting than a good pie when the evenings are dark and chilly. According to my husband, a “proper pie” should have a pastry bottom. I’m sure many of you will agree. But a top and bottom pie requires a bit more effort than slapping a puff pastry sheet on top of a stew. Bottom or bottomless? You decide – I’ve provided recipes for both options.

Serves: 4

Prep: 15 minutes
Cooking: 3 hours
Total: 3.5 hours

Difficulty: moderate



1.5kg stewing beef steak or venison shoulder
1 tbsp plain seasoned flour
2 onions chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 tsp English mustard
1 tsp brown sugar
500ml dark ale
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
I tsp chopped Rosemary or thyme
200g mushrooms halved
1 tbsp tomato purée
Either 2 x 320g shortcrust pastry sheets or 1 x 320g Puff pastry sheet
1 egg

Toss the meat in the flour.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan & colour the meat. Remove, set aside & add the onion, carrot, garlic & herbs to the same pan with 1 tbsp more oil.

Soften the onion/carrot mix for 5-10 mins then return the meat to the pan with the mushrooms, mustard, balsamic & tomato purée.

Stir & add the ale.
Cook for 2 hours at 180, 160 fan or in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours. (At this stage it could be eaten as a stew).
Let the stew cool.

For a puff pastry (top only) pie spoon the stew into a dish. Brush the rim of the dish with egg & add a strip of pastry. Brush the pastry strip with egg & lay over the remaining pastry. Pinch the edge together. Make a hole in the top & score lightly.

If making a pie with a bottom, line a tin with half the shortcrust pastry so the pastry hangs over the top. Prick the pastry with a fork all over & bake at 180 for 10 mins then spoon in the stew.

Paint the edges of the top of the pastry with the beaten egg. Lay over the remaining pastry and pinch together the edges around the edge. Decorate the top if you fancy. Brush with the remaining egg.

Make an air hole in the top with a knife & bake for 40 mins

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