• Ingredients:
  • For the meat base:
  • 500g extra lean steak mince
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 swede (about 200g), peeled and chopped the same size as the carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable (rapeseed) oil
  • 500ml ale
  • 2 tsp Knorr Touch of Taste Beef Concentrated Liquid Stock OR 1 beef stock cube, crumbled
  • Dash of Worcester sauce
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (or a few sprigs of fresh, leaves stripped)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley (or a small handful of fresh, finely chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the pie top:
  • 375g pack fresh Tesco LIGHT puff pastry, ready rolled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • To serve:
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • or other autumn greens

The ‘steak’ in this recipe is steak mince, which is what makes it so much quicker than a traditional steak pie. The beer I used is Burma Star Ale from one of our local breweries, Hog’s Back Brewery. I’ve made an open pie, for alternative ideas take a look at the tips at the end of the recipe.

Method

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish or sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and swede and sauté for 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Reduce the heat and add the garlic. Fry for 1 minute more. Remove the vegetables to a plate and pop the pan back on the hob over a high heat. Add the mince to the pan and leave to brown, resisting the temptation to stir too much otherwise it won’t brown.

Return the vegetables to the pan and sprinkle everything with the flour. Stir in and leave to ‘cook’ the flour for 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually pour in the ale, stirring in as you go (this will prevent the flour going lumpy). Add the remaining base ingredients, bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Cut the pastry into 4 even squares and place on 1 or 2 trays lined with baking paper. Using a pastry brush (I use a silicone one to prevent the bristles come out in my food), brush the squares with the beaten egg. Use the remaining pastry to decorate the pastry tops. (I used a beer glass template – can you tell?!). Brush the decorations with more egg wash and then pop the trays in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

To serve divide the meat base between 4 plates and top each with a pastry square. Serve with steamed savoy cabbage and broccoli or other green vegetables.

Tips

To make a more traditional pie in a dish: Use the (ovenproof) dish you’ll use for the pie as a template for cutting out a pastry lid. You want the lid to be slightly wider all round than the dish.  Tip the meat base into the dish and brush the edges of the dish with beaten egg to help the pastry stick. Top with the pastry and brush with more egg wash. Decorate however you want, brushing the decorations with egg as you go. Pop the dish in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden.

To make Steak & Ale Stew with Dumplings: Make 8 dumplings from 45g reduced fat spread rubbed into 110g self raising flour, flavoured with fresh or dried thyme and black pepper. Pop on top of the meat base, add a lid and cook for 7 minutes until light and fluffy.

To make Brewer’s Pie: Tip the meat base into an ovenproof dish and top with 1kg of floury potatoes, mashed and flavoured with 1 tbsp each of  Dijon and whoelgrain mustards.