Beef & Ale Pie
For the filling
1 kg/2lb 4oz braising steak, cut into matchbox-sized pieces
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp olive oil
300ml/½ pint brown ale
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
250g/9oz carrots, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
handful fresh thyme sprigs
300ml/½ pint good-quality beef stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
500g/1lb 2oz chestnut or white mushrooms, halved or cut into quarters if large
knob of butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the rough puff pastry
225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
½ tsp fine salt
250g/9oz unsalted butter, cold but not rock hard (or you can use half butter, half lard)
150ml/¼ pint ice-cold water
1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
Slice or dice the meat and Vegetables into bite sice peices
The Steak can be braised slowly in a dish in the the oven, topped up with a little water enough to cover it....then coevered with foil or a lid cook for ...then add the veg and continue to cook further
Or use a slow cooker to braise the meat and then add the veg as above then place into a pie dish cover with pastry and bake until golden brown
For the pastry, sift the flour and the salt into a large mixing bowl, then put into the fridge for a few minutes to chill. (Keeping the flour and bowl cold will help you to get a better result later and create nice separate layers or pastry.)
Meanwhile, cut the butter into small cubes. Using a round-bladed knife, stir it into the bowl until each piece is well coated with flour. Pour in the water, then, working quickly, use the knife to bring everything together to a rough dough.
Gather the dough in the bowl using one hand, then turn it onto a work surface. Squash the dough into a fat, flat sausage, without kneading. Wrap in cling film then chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Lightly flour the work surface and the pastry. Roll out the pastry in one direction until it’s about 1cm thick and three times as long as it is wide, or about 45x15cm/18x6in. Straighten up the sides using your hands now and again, and try to keep the top and bottom edges as square as possible.
Fold the bottom third of the pastry up, then the top third down, to make a block about 15x15cm/6x6in. It doesn’t matter if the pastry isn’t exactly the right size, the important thing is that the corners are square.