- 230g plain flour plus extra for rolling out
- ½ tsp fine salt 60g unsalted butter, in cubes
- 60g Lard in cubes
- 100ml ice-cold water
- 1 free-range egg, beaten, for the glaze
- 400g braising steak, diced
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 300ml Chocolate safari stout
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 150g carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 300ml good-quality beef stock
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- knob of butter
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry, sift the flour and the salt into a large mixing bowl,
add the butter and lard 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.
For the filling, mix the beef with the flour and some salt and pepper.
Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large heatproof casserole up to a medium heat, then add half the beef, shaking off the excess flour and keeping the chunks well-spaced so they fry rather than sweat. Brown for about 10 minutes, until golden-brown all over.
Transfer to a bowl, then add a splash of stout or water to the pan and scrape up any meaty bits. Tip the liquid into the bowl of meat.
Add the final spoon of oil to the pan and heat gently. Add the, onions, carrots, celery and herbs to the pan and fry for a few minutes, until softened.
Put the beef back into the pan. Pour in the stock and ale, then add the tomato purée . If necessary, add a little more stock or hot water to ensure the meat is covered in liquid (this will prevent the beef from drying out). Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer the stew for 1–1½ hours until the beef is almost tender and the sauce has thickened. Set aside to cool, overnight if possible.
To make the pie, preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6. Flour the work surface, then roll out the pastry to the thickness of two £1 coins and wide enough to cover a family-size pie dish/plate. Brush the edge of the pie dish with a little beaten egg.
Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry to fit the top of the dish – if it’s too big it doesn’t matter. Lift on top of the pie, laying the pastry over a rolling pin to lift it. Press down gently to seal.
Holding the knife blade horizontally, crimp a patterned edge by pressing down gently all around the edge of the pastry.
Cut a couple of slits in the top of the pie to release steam. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg Chill for 10 minutes, or until the pastry is firm. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden-brown all over.
This recipe makes 350g of pastry, but you could buy ready-made pastry instead.
Uncooked pastry can be frozen for up to one month before using.
Pie fillings need to be cold before putting the pastry on top otherwise it can make the pastry soggy.
If you just want to serve beef in ale without the pie lid, cook the meat for another 30 minutes or until meltingly tender, (because meat in a pie would get another 30 minutes cooking).