Serves: 4 – 6
Prepare: 15 min
Cook: 1 hour 35 min
Winter has definitely arrived and if you are like me then you are craving some warming comfort food. This is where my Proper Good Steak and Ale Pie comes in. A hearty dish filled with a generous amount of steak with a lovely layer of puff pastry on top. Perfect for a Sunday evening dinner but also something to master for New Year’s Day.
It’s always been a tradition in our family that Steak Pie is made every New Year’s day as it is for many other Scottish families. I’m not sure if this is a tradition elsewhere but if it’s not then you definitely need to make it one. Every year there are always queues out the door of the local butcher shop, everyone waiting to pick up their order of Steak and Ale Pie.
I managed to bag a bargain of a big portion of braised steak at the butchers and I saw the perfect opportunity to make my version of Steak and Ale Pie.
The best Steak pie I ever had was at the Drovers Inn which is in the beautiful area of Loch Lomond. Back in October 2014 myself and some pals went on a mad two weeks of doing the West Highland way along with a long drive to London to take part in Toughmudder. I myself decided to opt out of the West Highland way as I had previously done it (well most of it minus the last 20 miles….I had blisters on my shoulders from carrying a tent and all equipment for days on my back) and to be honest there had to be two of us to carry all the camping gear, food and most importantly booze! That is where Paul and I came in and we drove around all of the west highland way sorting out that stuff. Now I know you may be thinking we had it easy but trust us we didn’t!!
Surviving the mad challenge in October…in Scotland!
We had to try and find places to put up all the tents for all us while battling gale force winds and complete darkness. Most people would pitch up in a B&B for the night however they all close at the end of season in September and we were the only people daft enough to do this in the middle of October…in Scotland.
We had to unload and reload the van of everything twice a day, try and source food to keep everyone happy. Pick people up when they were crying in pain due to the blisters on their feet and don’t forget the temper tantrums . At this point may I please remind you that Paul and I opted out of the West Highland way in October because we were aware this would happen.
However we all survived our trip and most evenings were back in good spirits once we had downed quite a lot of whiskey and Buckfast (we just couldn’t do this trip without some for a laugh). Plus we are filled with loads of fantastic memories, like the time where some of the group had to sleep in the van together with a piano as the tent had blown over due to the wind. Or when we lost our friends (Kat and John – the two wonderers) because it was literally so dark we couldn’t tell what direction they were walking in. The time I made a box of Kraft cheesy pasta in a microwave in the hope poor Kat would stop crying because she was so hungry and in pain. Plus we met some great characters along the way and I’ll never be able to forget the smell of the boys feet when they removed their shoes and socks and showed their horrendous blisters.
Then there was the most outstanding lunch we got at the Drovers Inn. The largest portion of Steak Pie with mashed potatoes and vegetables. We were all desperate for good food at that point after surviving on garbage and a lot (and I mean a lot) of rice crispy squares. There was copious amount of steak with lashing of gravy and a huge layer of puff pastry on top. I know many of us have drove back to the Drovers Inn just to have this beautiful food and to check out the amazing views too.
An experience I will always treasure
This whole experience was amazing. It was great having the opportunity to do something so outlandish and without a care in the world. I had just got made redundant so it kept me in good spirits. Plus I got to share an amazing experience with my mates. I got to know Paul and fell in love with him (ewww that was a really cheesy line) and I completed Toughmudder (nearly drowned and got electrocuted along the way but it was totally worth it) and raised loads of money for Charity.
It’s amazing how a meal can remind you of such fond memories.
Get the family and friends round and make a big batch of steak and ale pie to create your happy memories to keep forever.
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 900g good quality braising steak or stewing steak, cut into large chunks
- 2 tbsp. plain flour
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 Large onion roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leave
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 500ml good quality ale
- 800ml beef stock
- Salt and pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 300g roll puff pastry
1 Put the chunks of steak into a large bowl along with the flour and some seasoning. Mix together until all the meat is coated in the flour mixture. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large pot or pan and add the meat. Cook gently until the meat has started to brown on all sides.
2 Chuck in the garlic, vegetables, seasoning, stock, ale and mix well. Cover with a lid and allow the mixture to gently simmer over a low to medium heat for 1 hour until the sauce has begun to thicken. Once cooked season again and pour into an ovenproof dish.
3 Preheat the oven to 220°C / 428°F / Gas mark 7
4 Brush the sides of the ovenproof dish with the beaten egg. Roll out the pastry with as little flour as possible and place over the dish so that it covers all the sides. Pinch the puff pastry to the sides of the dish so it sticks and remove any excess pastry from around the edge with a knife.
5 Brush the remaining beaten egg on top of the pastry and place on a baking tray. Bake on the middle shelf for 20 – 30 minutes until the pastry has turned golden brown and crispy on top.
6 Serve on warm plates with your choice of sides and enjoy…with a glass of good Ale of course.
Top Tip: If you don’t wish to use the Ale in your Steak Pie then just add extra stock. However if you do wish to use Ale then you can use your favourite chosen Ale. I opted for a pale Ale however experiment with the different brands and flavours of Ale and discover which one is your favourite with this dish.
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