Beef, brown ale and mushroom pie
- November 2014
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 1 hour 10 min, simmering time 1½ hours, oven time 30-35 min plus soaking and chilling
Try Debbie Major’s twist on the classic beef and brown ale pie, chock full of button and porcini mushrooms and topped with all-butter puff pastry.
- 42.8g (16.7g saturated)
- 42.7g (8.3g sugars)
- 25g dried porcini mushrooms
- 150ml boiling water
- 40g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 900g British stewing or braising steak, such as blade or chuck, cut into 3-4cm chunks
- 5 tbsp sunflower oil
- 300ml beef stock
- 25g unsalted butter
- 350g button mushrooms, halved
- 2 medium onions, halved and sliced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 fat garlic cloves, crushed
- 300ml brown ale
- 1 tsp tomato purée
- 3 large fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 500g chilled all-butter puff pastry
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
- Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour over the boiling water. Keep them submerged using a saucer, then leave for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, season the flour with ½ tsp salt and some pepper, then toss with the beef in a bowl until well coated. Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large, flameproof casserole, then fry the beef, in 2 batches, over a high heat until nicely browned all over. Lift onto a plate. Add the beef stock to the pan and scrape the base with a wooden spoon to lift off all the browned bits. Tip the stock into a jug and set aside. Wipe the pan clean.
- Drain the mushrooms and squeeze out as much of the water as you can, reserving the soaking liquid. Add half the butter to the pan along with the button mushrooms and fry briskly over a high heat for 2 minutes. Set aside with the beef. Add the rest of the oil and butter, the onions and sugar to the casserole and cook over a medium-high heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until well browned. Add the garlic and soaked mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add all but 1 tsp of the mushroom soaking liquid and simmer until thick and gloopy.
- Stir any remaining flour into the onions, then the beef stock, brown ale, tomato purée, thyme and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring. Add the beef and button mushrooms, season, part-cover (almost completely), then simmer gently for 1½ hours or until the beef is just tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened. Cool, then spoon into a freezable container and freeze as required.
- The day before serving, remove the pie filling from the freezer and defrost overnight. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, then put a 1.75 litre pie dish upside-down in the centre. Cut out a lid 2.5cm larger than the top of the dish. Also cut out a large star using a pastry cutter. Brush the underside of the star with beaten egg and position it in the centre of the lid, then cut a small cross in the centre.
- Spoon the filling into the pie dish and brush the underside and top of the dish’s rim with beaten egg. Put a pie funnel in the centre of the dish. Lay over the pastry so the funnel pokes through the cross, then press the pastry well onto the top and underside of the rim to make a good seal. If you don’t have a funnel, just make a hole. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg, then bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling hot.
To make individual pies spoon the flling into 6 x 350ml deep pie dishes in step 6, then top as in the recipe using 175g chilled all-butter puff pastry per pie and cutting a pastry star decoration for each. You won’t need pie funnels, but make small slits in the centres, then bake as in step 7.
Make the filling up to the end of step 4, then cover and freeze for up to 3 months.
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