Proper beef, ale & mushroom pie

Proper beef, ale & mushroom pie

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(79 ratings)

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

A challenge

Serves 6
Escape to your kitchen this weekend and make this comfort food classic - it's well worth the effort

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition:

  • kcal1244
  • fat70g
  • saturates29g
  • carbs105g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre7g
  • protein54g
  • salt2.61g
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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
      Onion

      Onion

      un-yun

      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 4 large carrots, chopped into large chunks
      Carrot

      Carrot

      ka-rot

      The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

    • 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

      Thyme

      This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

    • 200g smoked bacon lardons, or chopped rashers
    • 200g chestnut mushroom, 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
      Butter

      Butter

      butt-err

      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 1 egg yolk, beaten, to glaze

    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.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    catkan
    20th Feb, 2013
    5.05
    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
    10th Jun, 2013
    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
    8th Jun, 2013
    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
    6th Feb, 2013
    5.05
    Well worth the small amount. Loved by myself and my family.
    liathach47
    4th Jan, 2013
    5.05
    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
    1st Dec, 2012
    If I want to use ready made pastry which do I buy?
    bimbobaby
    27th Nov, 2012
    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
    25th Nov, 2012
    5.05
    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
    19th Nov, 2012
    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!
    maz2244
    13th Nov, 2012
    5.05
    I promised friends that I would make them a pie, and decided to try and create this as my first ever attempt at making pastry and a pie. It was really easy to follow and the end result tasted great.

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