02 January 2011

Steak and Ale Pie

A dinner! After what feels like weeks (but is actually, oh, two days if you count the tomato sauce post) I have cooked something new that didn't require dough. (Except it did.) I have to admit, though, that already my horrifically bad food photography skills are annoying me. I know it'll be a learning curve, but honestly, can't learning curves happen faster?! Sigh.

I've mentioned before that we bought one and a half kilograms of beef for Christmas Day, and ate very little of it. It finally got finished today, in a steak and ale pie. I used Gordon Ramsay's rough puff pastry recipe for the topping, and my own imagination for the rest. I forgot to add flour, so the pie filling was rather runny, but still pretty damn good; the pastry was delicious and buttery but not particularly flaky. Tom compared it to suet, in a positive way I think.

Steak and Ale Pie

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups butter
100-150ml cold water

2 onions
3 garlic cloves
About 750g beef
1/2 cup flour
300ml ale
1 tablespoon gravy powder with 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 head broccoli
1 egg

Slice the butter into chunks (it shouldn't be softened) and add to the flour and salt. Scrunch the mixture together with clean hands, rubbing your fingers and thumbs together as if to make a crumble topping. After about five minutes of this, make a well in the middle of the dough and add 100ml water. Incorporate the water into the dough, adding the remaining 50ml if necessary. Shape into a ball, wrap in clingfilm, and chill in the fridge for twenty minutes. After this, knead the dough and roll it out. Fold the dough back into a ball and chill it for a further twenty minutes. Repeat this rolling and chilling as many times as you like - the more you do it, the flakier your pastry should be. I rolled and chilled twice before rolling my dough out to the desired size and using it as the pie topping.

Roughly chop 2 onions, and finely chop the garlic. If you are using raw beef, chop the beef too and add all of these to a hot oiled pan. Brown the beef on all sides. I was using already cooked beef so just fried the onion and garlic for now.

Chopped garlic, onion and beef.
Once the beef is browned (or just after the cooked beef is added to the pan), add the flour to the pan and stir so the meat is coated. Mix the gravy powder and soy sauce and add 500ml boiling water. Stir the liquid and pour it into the pan, along with the 300ml ale. Stir the chilli powder into the mixture along with seasoning, and allow to simmer for forty-five minutes. In the meantime, snap the broccoli head into florets.

The pie filling simmering.
Add the broccoli and the mulled wine ice cube (or some red wine) to the stew and cook for a further ten minutes. Pour the stew into a deep pie dish and top with the pastry lid. Score some lines in the lid, and brush with a beaten egg. Bake at 180 degrees (360 Fahrenheit) for thirty to forty minutes, and serve.