British Steak and Ale Pie is the essence of English comfort food. Also makes delicious leftovers.
Being British means loving a good savory meat pie, and nothing is better than a steak and ale pie. Tender beef is braised with onions, carrots, ale, beef stock, fresh herbs and Worcestershire sauce then a flaky, buttery crust is filled and the pie is baked until golden brown. Best served with real British chips and peas.
Meat pies are popular pub grub and perfect comfort food. The filling for this pie only uses onions and carrots, but you can fill meat pies with anything you like, root vegetables, mushrooms or peas, whatever is in season.
What gives this pie its rich, characteristic richness is the use of ale. Good, dark brown English ale is a must to get a deeply infused flavor. Braising the beef in the ale and other ingredients makes it beautifully moist and tender that comes together to make a delicious, saucy filling.
The pastry is just as important as the pie filling so they come together as the perfect marriage. This pastry recipe is my go-to for all my pies, like this minced beef and onion pie, as well as homemade sausage rolls recently featured on Food Fanatic.
An easy alternative to hand mixing the dough is making it in the food processor. This serves two purposes. It’s quick and easy (we love that), and by not using my hands, it prevents the cold butter from warming up.
The key to perfectly flaky pastry is keeping the butter cold from beginning until it goes into the oven. Another point I’d like to make I do not like a soggy crust. There’s nothing worse than lifting a slice of pie from the pan and the bottom falls out, but I have a fix for this. It’s called blind baking the crust.
Blind baking is a ‘pre bake’ of the bottom crust in the pan without filling. It is weighted down with dried beans to keep it from puffing and it baked until crispy, this way, you are not putting the filling on top of raw dough which doesn’t have a chance to bake and crisp up.
This pie is by no means diet-friendly, but everything is good in moderation because this is British comfort food at it’s best. But it doesn’t stop there; this pie is just a delicious warmed up the next day. Just put the leftovers in a 350°F degree oven, uncovered for 20 minutes and this will heat it through and get the crust nice and crispy.
You can find more of my British recipes around Food Fanatic
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