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Steak and beer pie is my take on an old British standby.
British Staples: Meat Pies
High on the list of favorite British foods are their meat pies. They’ve been around forever and are one of the most popular foods there. In fact, there are shops that sell only meat pies. I remember seeing this on one of Mary Berry’s shows. And as she said, they’re not exactly the most healthy choices for dinner. However as she also said every once in a while it’s a good old-fashioned treat to have one.
There are so many varieties of pies, I won’t go into them here. One of the most favorite ones is steak and ale pie. That’s what this steak and beer pie is based upon. I used beer as it imparts a less bitter undertone than does ale and the result was outstanding.
Puff pastry is the one that’s used for all the British “steak” pies–there’s lots of them too!
Fortunately you’re not stuck with making your own puff pastry since it can be bought ready made. Here in the US, it comes frozen, but in the UK there are more choices for this product.
The good part here is that this pie is not heavy on pastry. You only cover the top; there’s no bottom crust although I believe some ready-made British meat pies do have a bottom crust. However, I find that a bit much since puff pastry is a bit on the greasy side.
If you don’t want to do the pie, you can stop right after making the filling. It’s wonderful served over rice or mashed potatoes. Add a green veg to it and it’s a perfect meal.
I used pre-cut sirloin tips that I get from my online meat place. That saves a lot of work, but you can always use a sirloin steak cut up into small cubes. Chuck would work well too and is very flavorful so it may be a better choice. I had the cut up tips in my freezer. I’m always banging on about using what you have and I did just that.
Steak & Beer Pie
- 2 lbs beef sirloin tips cut in 1-inch/2.5 cm cubes
- 1 small onion sliced
- 8 oz fresh mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup beer
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbs oil
- 4 tbs flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbs Gravy Master optional
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
- 1 beaten egg yolk
- Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs of the oil and the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms, shaking or stirring frequently until they begin to brown. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes or until they turn translucent. Remove mushrooms and onions to a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 tbs of oil and pat the meat dry with paper towels. When the oil is hot, add the meat to the pan to brown. You may have to do this in shifts--don't overcrowd the pan as the meat won't brown if you do. Remove the meat to a plate.
- Return the pan to the heat and deglaze with the beer, scraping up all the bits at the bottom of the pan.
- Add the stock, soy sauce, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the meat, mushrooms and onions back to the pan. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender.
- Mix the flour and water so there are no lumps. Stir into the meat mixture continuing to stir until liquid is thickened and it bubbles. If the liquid seems too light, add the Gravy Master.
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Place the meat in a 1.5 quart/1.5 liter round baking dish or pie pan.
- Cut an 8-inch/20 cm circle of the puff pastry. For a nice effect, score the pastry with diagonal lines, being careful not to cut through the pastry (nice but not necessary).
- Place the pastry circle on top of the meat and brush with beaten egg yolk.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is puffed and golden brown.