As it's 'British Pie Week', I thought it would be fitting to share the recipe for my rustic Beef & Ale Pie. I love a pie - comfort food, at it's best! I made this indulgent treat for my partner's birthday meal. He was incredibly happy. Not just because I cooked a savoury pie, but a 'manly' robust one at that. A key ingredient, was the local ale - a great match with the delicious beef in this rustic pie.
500g Marriages plain flour
Pinch of Maldon sea salt
250g chilled organic unsalted butter
4 medium organic egg yolks
Plus 1 extra egg yolk for when you construct the pie
100 ml of cold water
Place the flour and salt in a bowl and mix together. Then add the butter cubes and rub all three ingredients together with your fingers. Mix until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks to the mixture and work it in. Finally add the water, a little at a time, until a paste is formed. The sides of the bowl should be clean of any crumbs. Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and shape in to a ball. Try to avoid overworking the dough by handling it too much. Flatten the pastry with your finger tips, in to a shape of a disk. Wrap in cling film. Chill for 3 hours.
900g local diced stewing beef
25g Marriages plain flour
2 red onions
2 organic carrots
140g organic mushrooms
400ml Umble Ale
500ml beef stock
1 tbsp of Billingtons dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp of organic cocoa
1 tsp Aspall organic red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 heaped tsp of freshly chopped rosemary
salt and pepper to season
Pre heat the oven to 170c/ 150c fan.Place a large casserole dish over a medium heat on the stove. While the dish is heating up, place the meat in a bowl, and add the flour and seasoning. Turning to coat. When the pan is hot, melt about 15g of the butter. Add the meat in batches and seal until golden brown. Once browned, add the onions and cook until brown on all sides. Pour a little of the ale into the pan and bring to a simmer. Scrapping the bottom of the pan, to get all of those caramelised flavours. Then pour the remaining ale into the casserole with the meat. Add the vegetables, herbs, sugar,cocoa and liquids (stock & vinegar)Cover and place in the oven for 2 hours and 15 minutes. After that time, uncover and cook. Stirring occasionally for 1 hour 30 minutes. You want the meat to be tender and on the verge of falling apart. Then allow to cool to room temperature.
Making The PieHeat the oven to 220c/200c fan. Place a baking tray in the oven and grease your pie dish (24-28 cm) Roll out your dough and line the base of your pie dish, plus an overhang. Add the filling to your pie using a slotted spoon, this is just to make sure you don't add too much gravy to your pie. The remaining gravy will be served with the pie. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid for the pie, big enough to cover the dish. Brush the edges with an egg yolk, then cover with the pastry lid. Trim the edges, crimp the pastry to seal the pie. Any left over pastry can be frozen and used for another pie day! Brush the top heavily with egg to glaze the pie. Make a slit in the center of the pie. Place the pie on the hot baking tray in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and re-heat the left over gravy. Serve the pie with your scrummy gravy and a pile of fresh seasonal vegetables.