Winter comfort food: ale pie

When the wind is brisk, the sky is grumbling and drops of rain are tapping at the roof, few things are as comforting as a tucking into a hearty meat pie pulled fresh from the oven. It can be hard to know what’s lurking in some frozen store-bought pies, so it’s best to make your own instead. This recipe is pretty simple, but the meat does need to be slow cooked, making ale pie a perfect lazy Sunday-afternoon option.

INGREDIENTS

500 g chuck steak
1 small brown onion
2 cloves garlic
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon plain flour
1/2 carrot
300 ml beef stock
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 cup of your favourite ale
1 sheet puff pastry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg

TO MAKE

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Finely dice the onion, garlic and carrot, and sautee in half the olive oil until the onion is translucent. Set aside when cooked.

Dice the beef into 2 cm cubes and toss into a mixture of flour, salt and pepper. Sake off the excess flour and sautee beef in the remaining olive oil, until all sides are lightly browned. Add the onion and garlic mix to the pan along with the bay leaves and thyme, and stir until well combined. After this, pour in the ale and simmer for 1 minute.

When the ale has reduced, transfer the mixture to a baking dish, cover with beef stock, season with salt and cook on a low heat for 1.5 hours, checking regularly. Add more stock during cooking if necessary.

When the beef mixture is ready, remove it from the oven and transfer into two individual pie dishes or large oven-safe ramekins. Fill almost to the top and drape two large squares of puff pastry over the dishes. Brush the beaten egg over the pastry and bake ale pies for 20 minutes, or until golden.

Image via Eat Boutique.

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