Steak & Ale Pie, y’all! It is time. After a recent trip to a local Austin brewery Adelbert’s, I couldn’t wait to get back home and cook with some of their beer. Yes, that’s right, I said cook. Well, and drink some of it too, but some beers just scream cook with me! All the craft beers that are popping up everywhere really lend themselves perfectly to be used in the kitchen. The funky flavors, hops and carbonation add a lot of depth to recipes like this one. The subtle flavor the beer gives when you stew it with the meat really gives it that extra edge you can’t get any other way.
As I continue on my pie quest this year, I knew I wanted to mix in some savory recipes with the sweet pies that I usually make like my Valentine’s Day Spicy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. With a little prodding from my boyfriend, who loves British food, I decided to go ahead with this traditional pub recipe. And y’all get this, I even sifted the flour! Yup, that’s right. It is a step that can easily be over looked, especially when you are in a hurry. But trust me, it’s worth every second for that perfect pie crust. So important. Sift, sift, sift! Just do it. The flaky pie crust is all about keep the flour and butter cold and the flour sifted! On to the recipe!
Steak & Ale Pie
Recipe adapted from the BBC.
Cook time: 2 ½ hours
Total time: 3 ½ hours
For the stew:
4oz beef chuck cut into bite sized pieces
2 large carrots
2 celery sticks
2 garlic cloves
1/2 large white onion
1 cup chopped white mushrooms
1 cup beef stock
1 cup ale- I used Dancin’ Monks a Dubbel Ale from Adelbert’s
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt & black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
For the pie crust:
1 cup white all-purpose flour + more for rolling out
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup ice cold water
9oz of cold butter
1 egg beaten
1) Wash and chop vegetables and garlic, set aside.
2) Cut beef into small bite sized pieces. Toss with flour, salt and pepper.
3) In batches, use one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot and brown the beef without crowding it. Between batches, splash ale into pot to deglaze it, scraping up any brown bits with the meat. Set aside.
4) Using the last tablespoon of olive oil, cook the vegetables and garlic for about 5 minutes in the same pot as the beef.
5) Add the beef back to the pot with vegetables, pour in the beef stock, any remaining ale, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour and half to two hours or until the stew has reduced by half.
6) Meanwhile, start on the pie crust. Begin by shifting the flour. Next whisk the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Place in freezer for 15 minutes to get cold.
7) Cut butter into cubes and place in the fridge to keep cold.
8) Stir butter into flour until well coated.
9) Add ice cold water and work into rough dough. Form into ball and wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for 15 more minutes.
10) Roll out dough and work until smooth on a floured surface. Roll out until almost as thin as two quarters. If dough becomes sticky before finished, place in freezer for 10 minutes then continue. Make two equal sized pieces, one for top and bottom of pie.
11) Once finished place dough in the freezer for an hour.
12) Once the stew is finished, let cool for about 30 minutes.
13) Melt the butter and cook mushrooms in a pan for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add to the beef stew.
14) Press dough into pan greased with butter. Fill with cooled stew.
15) Cover pie with remaining dough. Make a few slits in the top for the steam to release. Pinch edges together to seal the pie. Brush the top with a beaten egg.
16) Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees or until inside of pie is hot.