Hi, I have the perfect dish for colder, wetter evenings, my Steak Leek and Ale Pie.
Homemade pie has to be at the top of my comfort food list. Long gone are the light, fresh salads of summer, now that Autumn is here, with it’s blustery gales I want proper, nourishing, hearty food.
I want, I need, this Steak Leek and Ale Pie!
Look at that golden crust. It is so inviting, willing you to cut in and discover the melting chunks of steak and leek beneath, sitting in a pool of thick, Ale gravy.
I know making pastry completely freaks some people out. The recipe for this pastry can be found here.
If you have a little time, maybe at the weekend, I really would encourage you to make your own pastry. It really isn’t as difficult as some believe and the rewards are very gratifying.
However, if you cannot bring yourself to make your own pastry, then good quality, shop bought shortcrust or puff pastry will also work very well.
Although I made this Steak Leek and Ale Pie for a mid-week meal, it will be replacing the occaisional roast on a Sunday too. It really is that good.
I have to mention the Leek Colcannon a fantastic dish of creamy mashed potatoes, steamed cabbage and sauteed leeks that I made to serve alongside this pie. Amazing!
If you are wondering why leeks feature in both dishes, November heralds the start of the British leek growing season. So keen to use seasonal produce, I came up with these two recipes for the British Leek Growers Association.
Recipe : Makes one Steak Leek and Ale Pie, serves 6
450g/1lb Shortcrust Pastry – to make your own you will need 350g/12oz Plain White Flour, 75g/3oz Butter and 75g/3oz Vegetable shortening – I use Trex
1kg/2lb Good Quality Beef Steak – I used rump, chuck or braising steak would work well
2 Tbsp Butter
500ml/1 pint Light Ale
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Fresh Thyme – halve if using dried
1 Clove of Garlic
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1/4 tsp Nutmeg – I always use freshly grated
1 Beef Stock Cube – or I used 1 Knorr beef stockpot
2 Tbsp Flour plus extra for rolling out pastry
Salt and Pepper to season
1 Medium Egg whisked with a little water for the egg wash
Method : Please read through before starting
If making your own pastry, make, cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill.
Mix the 2 Tbsp of flour with 1 tsp of sea salt and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper.
Place 2 Tbsp of butter into a large pan and melt over a high heat.
Prepare all 3 leeks by cutting off the tough, dark green tops and root. Starting at the top of the leek cut almost through and down two thirds. Wash the leeks under cold, running water to remove any dirt trapped between the leaves. Shake off any excess water.
Tip : I wash the leeks and leave them to drain upside down, before prepping other meat or vegetables.
Bring everything up to a simmer and leave to cook on a medium/low heat, uncovered for 2-3 hours, stirring occaisionally.
At the end of the cooking time the beef should be meltingly tender and the ale gravy reduced by half. Check the sauce for seasoning. I found the salt and pepper added to the flour was sufficient, however, adjust if needed.
Brush the egg wash around the rim of the pie dish. This will enable the pastry to stick to the dish.
To crimp I simply pinch between my forefinger and thumb all around the pastry edge. Make 3 slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape.
Place the Steak Leek and Ale Pie on a baking sheet and place in a preheated (200C/180C fan) oven. Bake for approximately 1 hour. The pie is cooked when the pastry is golden brown and little bubbles of hot gravy or steam are bursting through the slits in the pie.
Once baked remove the pie from the oven and serve immediately.
The leek in this pie lends a delicate onion flavour, which with the ale and steak, perfectly compliment each other. This Steak Leek and Ale Pie was thoroughly enjoyed by all in our house and my very good friend and chief taste tester – who lives 2 doors away!
It would make perfect sense to double the quantities and make 2 pies. An uncooked pie will freeze beautifully, just ensure it is absolutely cool before double wrapping in cling film and freezing for up to 2 months. Or maybe pass the second pie onto a busy family, new mum, or friends. The gift of a meal, even if there is no ‘special’ reason shows that you care.
I do hope you take the challenge to make your own pastry.
Have you ever received a surprise meal, or gift of food?
If you tried this pie pastry then you may also like these recipes –
Please tell me about your pastry successes, or disasters, I love reading your comments.
Whilst I was provided with most of the ingredients for this recipe all content and opinions are my own. I did not receive payment for this post.