Steak and stout pie
This classic steak pie uses stout to make a rich gravy and ready-rolled pastry for ease. For the ultimate pie, the recipe suggests using shortcrust for the base and puff for the lid, but obviously you can just use the puff pastry lid if you prefer.
You will need a 28x23cm/11x9in pie dish that is 4.5cm/1¾in deep.
For the pie base and lid
- 350g/12oz ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, for the base
- 350g/12oz ready-rolled puff pastry, for the lid
- plain flour, for dusting
- 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
For the pie filling
- 3–4 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling if needed
- 900g/2lb rump steak, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 2 large brown onions, finely chopped
- 2 large celery sticks, finely chopped
- 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- 2 bay leaves
- 300ml/10fl oz chicken stock
- 500ml/18fl oz Irish stout (such as Guinness)
- 150g/5½oz button mushrooms, kept whole
- 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry base, check the shortcrust pastry sheet is large enough to line the base of your pie dish. If necessary, roll it out a little more on a lightly floured surface. Carefully transfer the pastry and line the base and sides of the pie dish, leaving a small overhang at the top (which will be used to seal the lid). Place in the fridge until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3.
For the pie filling, heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole over a high heat. Season the beef and sear the steak in batches, until evenly browned. Transfer to a plate or bowl. Reduce the heat and add a drizzle more oil if necessary. Soften the onions, celery and garlic in the same pan for around 8–10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the beef and any meat juices back to the pan and stir in the flour until incorporated. Add the thyme, bay leaves and stock.
Pour in the stout and add the mushrooms and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2–2½ hours until the beef is tender. Remove from the oven.
Taste the pie filling to check the seasoning. Discard the bay leaves and any thyme twigs. Set aside to cool (if you are short of time, spread out the filling on a large baking tray to help it cool faster) – it should be cold enough to avoid melting the fat in the pastry. Once cool, use a slotted spoon transfer the filling into the pastry-lined pie dish and add enough sauce to just cover. Pass any leftover sauce through a sieve and set aside to use as gravy to serve alongside the pie.
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7 and preheat a large baking tray.
For the pastry lid, brush a little beaten egg around the lip of the shortcrust pastry and place the puff pastry on top. Press together to seal, trim the excess and use a fork to crimp the edges. Cut a small cross in the centre of the pastry lid to allow steam to escape. Use any pastry trimmings to make decorations and use a little beaten egg or water to secure them to the pie. Brush the top of the pie with the remaining egg.
Place the pie on the preheated baking tray and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Reheat the gravy and serve alongside the pie.
The filling can also be made in a pressure cooker. Simply cook on a high pressure for 40 minutes instead of in the oven. If you find the sauce is too thin, bring the filling to the boil then simmer until the volume of liquid is reduced.
Stewing steak can be used instead of rump, if desired.