Steak & Staffordshire Ale Pie

This delicious pie is perfect for a family week night tea or a even a smart dinner with friends. Comfort food at its best!

1 pack of all butter puff pastry
1 kilo of good quality, locally sourced braising steak
3 tbsp of plain flour
1 tsp mustard powder
2 good slugs of olive oil
300ml of dark ale (Lymestone Stone the Crows ale would be ideal)
1 clove of garlic
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
2 onions
Some fresh thyme
300ml of good quality beef stock
tomato puree
Mushrooms (optional)
1 beaten egg (for sealing & shine)

Take the pastry out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Start to make the filling but cutting the steak into 1-2 inch cubes. In a large casserole or pan, heat the olive oil and add the meat in batches to brown. Don’t be afraid if the meat sticks a little, simply use a wooden spoon to scrape the meat off and allow to brown to a darkish colour. This will require quite a high heat on your hob. Lift browned meat onto a plate with tongs and continue until all the meat is brown. Turn the pan down and allow the oil to cool slightly and then add the chopped onion, carrots and celery and saute (fry at a mid temperature to achieve a softened, but hardly coloured consistency) for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the meat cubes and any juice that has emerged on the plate. Then add the flour, mustard powder, puree and thyme and stir until everything is coated in flour. This will start to look like it is sticking – this is fine, just keep going for a few minutes, stirring all the time. Slowly add the hot beef stock, stirring constantly and scrubbing the sticky bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. You will end up with a sauce that coats the back of a spoon. Now add the ale and season with some salt & pepper (this can be adjusted again later). Bring to the boil and then drop the temperature right down and allow the filling to simmer with a lid on for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, until the beef is shredding and tender. If you are adding mushrooms, cut them into quarters and add for the last hour of cooking. Allow the filling to cool completely.
Now choose a deep pie dish with a lip on the edge to create proper crusty edges. This can be a tin dish, ceramic or pyrex. Roll out the pastry until it is about 2cm wider than the dish all round and about 1/2cm thick. fill the dish with the cooled filling until it is filled to the top. Use some of the beaten egg to wet the pie dish edge and then place the pastry on top of the pie, lightly pressing at the edge to seal the pastry with the egg. You can flute the edge or just use a clean thumb. Use a sharp knife to place a slit in the middle of the pie top of about 1cm. Using a brush, paint the egg onto the pastry. If you have spare pastry, fel free to cut out a shape and place on top of the pie (love hearts, stars etc).
Place the pie in a pre heated, hot oven (200C/Gas 6) for 30 minutes until the pastry has become golden and you might have some bubbling mixture escaping at the edge. Enjoy with some greens and mashed potato.