Proper beef, ale & mushroom pie

Proper beef, ale & mushroom pie

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(54 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 3 hrs Prep and cooking time is staggered

Skill level

For the keen cook

Servings

Serves 6

Escape to your kitchen this weekend and make this comfort food classic - it's well worth the effort

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition

kcalories
1244
protein
54g
carbs
105g
fat
70g
saturates
29g
fibre
7g
sugar
15g
salt
2.61g

Ingredients

For the beef

  • small handful dried porcini mushrooms (about 10g) - not essential but very tasty
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1kg braising steak (buy this as a whole piece and cut it yourself into large chunks)
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped into large chunks
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml dark ale
  • 2 beef stock cubes mixed with 400ml boiling water
  • small bunch each thyme, bay leaf and parsley, tied together
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons, or chopped rashers
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, halved

For the pastry

  • 650g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g lard or cold butter (or half of each), diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten, to glaze

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Method

  1. Start by braising the beef. If you’re using the porcini, cover them in boiling water for 20 mins, then squeeze out but keep the soaking water. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat half the oil in a large casserole dish, brown the meat really well in batches, then set aside. Add the onions and carrots to the pan, adding a drizzle more oil, then cook on a low heat for 5 mins until coloured. Add the soaked mushrooms, sizzle for 1 min more, then scatter over the sugar and flour, stirring until the flour turns brown. Tip the meat and any juices back into the pan and give it all a good stir. Pour over the ale, stock and porcini soaking liquid, discarding the last few drops. Season stew, tuck in the herbs and bring everything to a simmer. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for about 2 hrs, until the meat is really tender.
  2. While the stew is cooking, heat a drop more oil in a frying pan and sizzle the bacon for 3 mins until crisp. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms and cook for 4 mins until golden. Remove from the heat and, when the stew is cooked, stir them through. Leave everything to cool completely – better still, make this up to 2 days in advance and keep it in the fridge as the pie will be better if the filling is fridge-cold when added. Can also be frozen for up to 3 months and defrosted when needed.
  3. Make the pastry up to 2 days before you want to assemble the pie. Crumble the flour and lard, or butter, together with a generous pinch of sea salt until completely combined, then add up to 200ml ice-cold water to make a soft dough. This can be done in a food processor if you want. Knead the pastry, then wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hr. The pastry can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept in the fridge or frozen for up to a month.
  4. When you want to make the pie, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and place a flat baking tray in the oven. Heavily grease a 24-28cm pie dish and dust well with flour. Cut a third off the pastry and set aside. Roll out the pastry to a thick-ish round that will easily line the pie dish with an overhang, then line the tin. Add the beef to the dish using a slotted spoon so some gravy is left in the container, as you don’t want too much sauce in the pie. You want the filling to be slightly higher than the rim of the dish. If you have a bit too much, set it aside.
  5. Roll out the remaining pastry to a thick round big enough to cover the dish. Brush the edges of the pastry in the dish with egg yolk, then cover with the pastry lid. Trim the edges, crimp the pastry, then re-roll your trimmings to make a decoration, if you like – I always decorate my pies with pastry leaves. Brush the top heavily with egg. Make a few little slits in the centre of the pie, place on the hot baking tray, then bake for 40 mins until golden. Leave the pie to rest for 10 mins while you heat up the gravy left in the container. Serve the pie at the table with a jug of gravy and a big pile of something green and leafy.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2010

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Comments

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Ru Rua's picture
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This is a really lovely recipe! I made it to use up some leftovers (including two bottles of Guinness which gave me the search idea in the first place!) I made a meat version and a veggie one. I'm veggie and the husband is a dedicated carnivore! I used all the ingredients in the recipe for the filling with a couple of leeks added as well that I had left over and a little less beef. Oh and veggie stock as I don't have a beef one. I didn't make it into a pie as I was going for a "what's left in the fridge recipe" but used it as a stew with a little extra water and some spuds thrown in. My husband absolutely adores it. He was in heaven and he has a very fancy chef feeding him at his workplace so it's high praise indeed! I made the veggie version with a about half a pack of quorn, some firm smoked tofu and some chickpeas. Bit of a mix but thats what I had! It turned out great. I love it! For veggies I would recommend getting some some smoked tofu for it for that smokey infusion. I'll definitely be making it again although I'll do the pastry with it next time!

ramydam's picture
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Used recipe as inspiration for vegetarian saitan mushroom ale pie, which also turned out brilliantly!

bacon-n-egg's picture
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Use this recipe on a regular basis but recently not using pastry as we are cutting down on grain. Works well as a casserole type and serve with baby spuds or just a medley of veg. Very tasty, freezes well and children love it.

kathryn4050's picture
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Tried this without the mushrooms and with shop bought pastry, it tasted great and it was simple to make. I cooked for longer than stated though, for around 3hrs so the meat was very tender. I served as individual pies

subeycooking's picture

Really good pie. Made filling two days before. Just did a rim of pastry around the pie dish and then a top layer of pastry over the filling. Worked well, same timings in oven. Definitely recommend.

gudgeon's picture

Had this for dinner tonight! I began yesterday with the filling and then finished today for my partner's birthday dinner. A lot of time to spend on a pie, but it was worth it! I got 10 out of 10 from him, and I think it was the nicest pie I've made. The filling was rich and flavorful (I used the suggested porcini mushrooms) and the pastry was the best I've managed to make - I did it in the food processor (half butter half lard) and it was short and flaky and rolled out well. I served with horseradish mash and broccoli.

Familyof4's picture

Only made the filling but it was delicious. Will definately make it again and as the pie next time.

alexmacphee's picture

Simply outstanding, and the best steak pie I have ever had. The recipe is also versatile : I used a slow cooker overnight, and though I allowed the crock pot to cool, I didn't bother with the refridgeration step. It still worked perfectly. It takes time to prepare, but it is such an enjoyable process that it doesn't seem like effort at all. I served with boiled new potatoes and minted peas, and a glass of Rioja. In the Scottish tradition, this was my New Year's Day dish. Superb.

kristinh9's picture

supertasty! but will precook the pastry a little next time, as my pie dish is quite thick and the base didn't cook through all the way. Also I skipped the sugar - and it still tasted lovely!

karlymillar's picture

So good, the longer you leave it in the oven the better it gets! But super tasty and never had anything but compliments about it. I always add a splash of worcester sauce in too.

rachsweets's picture
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Bloomin' lovely! Only alterations i made were; no porcini and i used 1 tablespoon of redcurrant jelly in the place of the caster sugar. Really tasty and makes a lovely big pie so lots of leftovers for tonight :-)

catkan's picture
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Amazing! Made this for my husbands birthday.... He loved it! Served with mash, peas and gravy. The only thing I might do differently next time is use a lighter pastry recipe, or perhaps precook the pastry a little, as it did not cook all the way through (although I am still getting used to a new oven, so maybe this was more the problem!). Certainly the best filling I have ever found for a beef pie!!

lizleicester's picture

This is probably a 5 star pie but I only made the gorgeous filling (which is definitely delicious). Didn't have any porcini and my bacon was unsmoked, although neither change seemed to spoil the outcome.

lizleicester's picture

I bet this is a 5 star recipe but I didn't do the pastry... The beef filling is DELICIOUS. I used beer from the Dorset Piddle Brewery and we drank beer from The Salopian Brewery as we enjoyed the beef and mushrooms with salad to make it more summery!

mrscoyne's picture
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Well worth the small amount. Loved by myself and my family.

liathach47's picture
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I made double the quantity of this recipe (minus the porcini mushrooms and cellery, only because I did'nt have any), used one portion on the day, froze the other portion and used it two weeks later.
Both were absoulty delicious, even though I cheated, and used bought puff pastry. A great recipe.

fiifii87's picture

If I want to use ready made pastry which do I buy?

bimbobaby's picture

Any idea what I could use instead of Ale?? Due to having coeliac's I can't have it boo hoo :-( Would love some suggestions as looks delish!!!

donnadrew's picture
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Really great steak pie! I used a whole 500ml Guinness, 400ml beef stock, 2 big dollops of tomato puree & 1 tsp marmite. I left out the bacon, as I didn't have any, but used a few more mushrooms at the end. I cooked on hob for 2.5 hrs, then cooled to put pie together later. Terrible I know, but I blind-baked the base with ready-made short crust, & used puff for the top. Blimmin' wonderful!!

mofli123's picture

This was lovely! I made it for Sunday lunch on the same day so there wasn't enough time to let it cool but it still worked, simply made half the pastry and made a pastry top. Was concerned that the ale flavour would be overpowering (particularly as I used Guiness and one of the guests doesn't drink alcohol) but by the time the dish came out of the oven, the flavour was lovely. Oh yes, added a big squirt of tomato ketchup before it went in the oven. Will definately make again!

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