Proper beef, ale & mushroom pie

Proper beef, ale & mushroom pie

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(49 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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fuji115's picture
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Really, really nice! Don't skip dried porcini mushrooms. They make a huge difference!

special_k's picture
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Hubby made this, he followed the recipe exactly, made it day before. Was a fantastic pie & cooked lovely. He halved the recipe & half the pie fed 2 men along with veggies & mash the other half saved for the following day.

willmckitt's picture

Lovely recipe - was definitely worth the effort.

justineaguilera's picture
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I made this pie for my boyfriend to have when i was away, he really did enjoy it. I had never made a pie before and was quite worried about -how difficult it would be but it was quite easy to be honest! will be making again

vonnie's picture

Just a quick question: I like a pie with a pastry base as well as lid and was wondering if this pastry would be suitable for that, or if it would be at risk of going too soggy?

ladyverte's picture
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Absolutely gorgeous! I used beef dripping for the pastry which just topped if off. Yum! A meal for champions

chris210's picture
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Simply fantastic!

missn1's picture
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very nice! Will definately be trying this again.

foodielove's picture
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This is a lovely recipe and makes plenty. I froze half for later. Doesn't necessarily have to be a pie mix, this can also be topped with potatoes or served with mash.

The recipe was an all round winner - I didn't use porcini mushrooms (I don't like them) so it didn't take anywhere near 4 hours to make. I will be making again!

catharsist316's picture
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Made this for Christmas dinner and it was great! Had about twice as much pastry as we actually needed though - think we'll need to invest in a bigger pie dish for next time!

mpearsonmadrid's picture
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Absolutely lovely although I just made a pastry lid and used more mushrooms (shitake) than the recipe suggests. Used proper beef stock too...none of that stock cube nonsense for me!

jellybean1981's picture
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To save time I put all the ingredients in the slow cooker on low for a few hours so the beef is really tender. Then fry up the bacon and roll out ready made pastry and bake. Cheating abit but I have a young family ;) This is a real winner with my 9month baby and 4 year old. One i will make time and time again. Thanks Barney :)

alliedavey's picture
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Well worth the effort. Was delicious and a decent amount as well

rachel2709's picture
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Although this took a very long time to make from start to finish I was really pleased with the end result. My only comments would be that a little bit more beef would be well-received and it would be useful to know how thinly the pastry should be rolled in order to achieve the perfect pie crust.

boylesy's picture
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Fantastic and enjoyable. Had a Saturday to myself and made all ingredients, left overnight and had a relaxed Sunday dinner. Will be making this again.

juliefrances's picture

As a Scot, we know our steak pies! I made this at the weekend and got 2 nights dinner out of it for 3 people, it was absolutely gorgeous. I used puff pastry instead and left out the porcini mushrooms as I didn't have them but a lovely pie and a roaring success, will definitely be using this again.

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