Steak, Ale & Stilton Pie
This is a wonderfully delicious pie full of rich flavours- the perfect pie for chilly weather!
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
3tbsp plain flour
1.5kg good quality stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm cubes
450ml bottle of real ale (I used Newcastle Brown Ale)
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
2 tbsp cornflour
150g stilton, crumbled
For the pie
325g ready-made short crust pastry
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. 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/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. 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 short crust pastry to 4mm thick and line a 1.2 litre pie dish, leave the excess pastry hanging over the edge. Spoon the cooled beef mixture into the dish and sprinkle over the stilton cheese, brush the edge of the pastry with the beaten egg.
6. Roll out the puff pastry to 4mm thick and large enough to cover the pie. Place the pastry over the pie and press the edges firmly together to seal and trim neatly. Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg. Decorate with trimmings and brush with more egg to glaze. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown. Serve with mash, seasonal vegetables and the remaining gravy. Enjoy!