- Difficulty 3
- Prep Time 45 min
- Cook Time 4 hr
- Serves 4 or 5
Red ale brings its hearty, malty caramel and toffee notes to this old-school savoury pie. Each slice is unapologetically meaty and rich, so a nice side of steamed green beans, petite peas or dressed greens is all you need to complete your meal. Oh, and maybe a glass of that red ale that went straight into the sauce?
- 900 g beef sirloin tip or inside round oven roast (see tips), cut in 1-inch chunks
- 2 tsp (10 mL) salt (approx), divided
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper (approx)
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 5 tbsp (75 mL) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (500 mL) sodium-reduced beef broth
- 1 473 mL can (or 1-1/2 341 mL bottles) red ale
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
- 1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) thyme leaves (1 or 2 sprigs), or 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 large carrots (about 450 g), peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
- 225 g baby potatoes (scrubbed), cut in half (see tips)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar (approx)
- 1 block (half 397 g package) puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
- 1 egg
- 1. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 325°F.
- 2. Season beef with 1 tsp (5 mL) salt and the pepper. In a medium Dutch oven, heat 1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) oil over medium-high heat. In 3 batches and adding 1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) oil between batches to prevent sticking, sear beef in a single layer until browned and crusty on bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and sear until browned and crusty on bottom, about 3 minutes. Transfer beef to a large bowl.
- 3. Add 1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) oil to pot. Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil and then flour. Cook, stirring often, until flour begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes.
- 4. Pour in broth and red ale, stirring and scraping up any browned bits on bottom of pot. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaves and remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Stir in beef and any accumulated juices and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer pot to preheated oven. Bake for 2 hours.
- 5. Remove pot from oven. Stir in carrots and potatoes. Return to oven and cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 1-1/4 hours.
- 6. Stir in vinegar. Taste stew and season with more salt, pepper and/or vinegar, if desired. Pour stew into a wide, shallow casserole dish and let cool slightly, about 20 minutes (see tips). Meanwhile, increase oven temperature to 425°F.
- 7. Scrape stew into a 9-inch pie dish. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry into a 13-inch circle. Working quickly, slide pastry overtop of stew. Crimp edges of pastry, trimming off excess around rim of dish.
- 8. In a small bowl, whisk egg until frothy; brush over pastry. Using a sharp paring knife, cut several steam vents in centre of pie. Bake in preheated oven until pastry is golden and knife inserted into centre of filling comes out hot, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cutting a beef roast yourself is cost-effective and gives really tasty, tender results. You can sub in store-cut stewing beef cubes for ease, but they won’t be quite as juicy and toothsome as the roast.
- Traditional British recipes for steak and ale pie often don’t contain potatoes, but they’re not unheard of. Here, they give the stew a heartier texture. If you want to skip them, you can increase the carrots to 675 g.
- Pouring the finished stew into a wide, shallow casserole dish helps it cool faster. If you don’t want to dirty another dish, simply let it cool in the pot it was cooked in until it’s not piping hot.
- You can make and refrigerate the stew up to 2 days ahead; just reduce the flour to 4 tbsp (60 mL). The beef and potato mixture will thicken as it chills, so stir in 2 to 4 tbsp (30 to 60 mL) water before you rewarm it on the stovetop. Let the reheated mixture cool for about 10 minutes before continuing with steps 7 and 8.