Steak and Ale Pie

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Step 1.

Heat your oven to 150°C.

Step 2.

Finely chop your onion and carrots.

Step 3.

Heat a casserole dish over a low heat. Add a little olive oil, then tip in your bacon lardons. Fry for a few mins until the fat has rendered out and they are starting to crisp up.

Step 4.

Add your diced onion and carrot to the pan and cook for 15 mins until softened.

Step 5.

Meanwhile, brown your beef. Start by placing your flour in a large bowl and seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Add your beef and mix so that the flour totally coats all the pieces.

Step 6.

Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Brown your beef in batches for a minute or two on all sides until there is lots of caramelisation. Remove from the pan, and repeat with your remaining beef.

Step 7.

Pick your thyme leaves off their stalks and add these to the pan along with your tomato purée. Cook out for 5 mins until your puree has darkened.

Step 8.

Add your beef to the veg pan along with your stock and ale. Bring the whole mixture to a simmer, then pop on a lid and place in the oven to cook for 2 and a half hours.

Step 9.

Halve your button mushrooms.

Step 10.

Remove your pan from the oven. Add your button mushrooms, then pop the lid back on. Cook for another hour.

Step 11.

At this point, your beef should be tender and your sauce lovely and thick. Add your Worcestershire sauce, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow your pie filling to cool.

Step 12.

Heat your oven to 200°C.

Step 13.

Roll out your pastry to 2mm thickness.

Step 14.

Spoon your beef into a pie dish, then add your pastry on top. Crimp the edges, then brush the surface with puff pastry.

Step 15.

Bake for 25 mins until well risen and golden.

Step 16.

Serve with mash and greens.

The base of this pie freezes beautifully. Box it up and keep it in your freezer for up to 3 months, then bring it out and top it with pastry for a quick and hearty meal.

1 Large Onion
1 Carrot
250g Bacon Lardons
1kg Diced Stewing Beef (Chuck Or Shin Is Best)
40g Plain Flour
Handful of Thyme
1 Tbsp Tomato Purée
300ml Good Quality Beef Stock
400ml Ale
200g Button Mushrooms
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
400g Puff Pastry
1 Egg
Olive Oil