Steak, Ale & Stilton Pie
This is a wonderfully delicious pie full of rich flavours – a great way to celebrate #BritishPieWeek
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
For the pie filling
3-4tbsp olive oil
200g smoked streaky bacon rashers, cut into 1cm strips
2 medium onions, peeled, halved & sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
2tbsp plain flour
1kg good quality stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm cubes
500ml bottle of real ale (I use Newcastle Brown Ale, but I am a Geordie)
500ml good beef stock
2tbsp tomato puree
1tbsp creamed horseradish sauce (optional)
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stalks & finely chopped
2 bay leaves
250g small chestnut mushrooms, wiped & halved or quartered
2 tbsp cornflour
150g stilton, crumbled
For the pie
325g ready-made puff pastry
1 egg, beaten to glaze
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the bacon and onions until pale golden in colour and then add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Set aside using a slotted spoon.
2. Season the steak with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Now heat 1-2 tbsp of oil to the frying pan and add the steak, you may have to do this in batches. Fry the meat until it is well browned all over. Add more oil if necessary. Set aside.
3. Deglaze the frying pan with half of the ale. Bring the ale to the boil and stir hard to remove all the sediment from the base of the pan. Transfer the steak and bacon to the frying pan then add the remaining ale, stock, tomato puree, horseradish and herbs to the dish. Bring to the boil and then cover, simmer for 1 ½ hour or until the meat is very tender. Mix the corn flour with 2tbsp of cold water and add to the pan with the crumbled stilton cheese. Continue to simmer uncovered for a further 5 minutes or until the juices are thick. Season to taste and allow to cool.
4. In the meantime preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms over a high heat for about 5 minutes until golden and add to the meat. Remove the bay leaves and then strain the liquid from the meat but add some of the gravy to suit your taste. Set aside the rest of the gravy to serve with the pie.
5. Roll out the pastry on a well-floured board and brush the edge of the pie dish with egg. Place the pastry gently over the filling and press the edges firmly to seal. Trim the pastry neatly and decorate the top with the excess pastry and brush with the beaten egg to glaze.
6. Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.
7. Divide the pie and serve with mash and plenty of gravy, enjoy