This comforting Steak and Ale Pie is the perfect dish to enjoy with friends. For easy entertaining, make the pie filling a day ahead -- it will taste even better.
4 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups dark beer
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
3.3 pounds beef stewing meat or blade roast, cut into cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup beef stock
1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, cut in half
2 tsp. finely grated horseradish root or ½ tsp. horseradish sauce
1 pound puff pastry or short crust pastry, (store-bought or homemade)
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water, for egg wash
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. butter over low heat. Add onion and cook gently until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the flour, cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir in beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a bare simmer, while you cook the beef.
Meanwhile, season the cubes of beef with salt and pepper.
Heat a large fry pan over high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add beef in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook beef until well browned on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove beef from pan.
Deglaze the frying pan with the beef stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to incorporate all the pan juices into the liquid. When liquid comes to a boil, transfer to Dutch oven.
Add beef to Dutch oven and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until meat is tender and liquid has reduce by half, about 1 ¼ hour to 1 ½ hours.
While the beef is cooking, sauté the mushrooms. Add butter to a large fry pan over medium high heat. When butter starts to sizzle, add mushrooms in batches. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, beef mixture and horseradish sauce to an 8 cup pie dish. Stir well to combine. Let cool before topping with the pastry.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut puff pastry to fit over a pie, about 1-inch bigger than the pie pan. Top the pie with the pastry. Crimp and trim the edges. Brush the pie with the egg wash. Cut a few holes in the pastry to allow the steam to escape. If desired, with any of the pastry trimmings, cut out decorative shapes such as a leaf or beer bottle, to decorate the pie. Brush the pie crust with egg wash.
Bake pie until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.