Hawkshead very kindly sent me 3 of their new smaller batch beers, the IPA didn’t last very long at all and it certainly was a cracker, packed full of big juicy hops and ever so moreish, enough so that I bought a couple of bottles from Open All Hours in Keswick as the Hawkshead online shop had them at just under £30 for 6 delivered with no option to order more and save on postage which I thought was a touch pricey.
This left me with the Dry Stone Stout and the Brodies Prime Export, which I stashed out of the way for a cold day with some nice comforting food.
As it happens this day was Sunday, I’d decided to do a slow cooked steak in ale pie with some Stilton to use up what I had left in the fridge and when routing around in the beer cupboard for a bottle of stout I couldn’t find any, then I remembered I’d put the Hawskhead beers in with my bottles of stronger stuff. So out came both bottles, one to cook the steak in and one to serve with the finished pie.
The result was a complete success and the beers worked perfectly in tandem, I will admit to sneaking half a glass of the stout and replacing it with water in the recipe but I couldn’t cook with it not having tried it on it’s own.
The Dry Stone stout was a cracking stout, not to heavy, not too fizzy and with enough flavour to keep me interested, it almost seemed a shame to be using it in a pie but as it was the only bottle of stout I had left it had to be sacrificed, so I cracked open the Brodies Prime Export, an 8.5% ABV version of their original ruby ale, bigger boozier and fruitier than it’s smaller brother, an absolute winner.
The pie is really easy and super tasty, it’s even better if you make the filling in a slow cooker and cook for 6 hours so the meat is meltingly soft.
- 500g beef skirt
- 1 bottle Hawkshead Dry Stone Stout
- 5 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 beef stock cube
- 200ml water
- 1 tbsp Marmite
- Pinch dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or Hendersons Relish
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 100g Stilton or blue cheese
- Pinch of brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- Pinch dried herbs
- olive oil
- 1 tbsp plain flour
For the pastry
- 400g plain flour
- 100g cold butter, cubed
- 100g cold lard, cubed
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water.
- Trim the steak of any visible fat, cut into 3cm chunks, dust with the plain flour and season with salt and pepper.
- Fry the onion in a little olive oil, until soft and golden, add the mushrooms.
- Add the steak and fry until brown, next stir in the tomato purée, Worcestershire and Marmite.
- Add the bay leaves and dried herbs, followed by the stock cube, Pour in the beer and sir well.
- Add the sugar, then season with salt and pepper
- Now either place in the oven for 3 hours or place in your slow cooker for as long as possible.
- Once the meat is tender, strain through a sieve and keep the liquid to make your gravy.
- Leave to cool then mix in the blue cheese.
- Place the butter, lard and flour in a food processor along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until the mix resembles breadcrumbs, reserve a tablespoon of the egg mixture for glazing and add the rest into the food processor while the blades are running, the dough should start to form a ball. Remove from the processor. (you can refrigerate the dough at this point if you wish)
- Separate off 200g of the pastry for the lid, roll the rest out into a circle big enough to line your pie dish and about the thickness of a pound coin.
- Line your pie dish with the pastry, remove the bay leaves from your meat mix then add the meat to your pie dish, brush the edges with some of the remaining egg mix, then roll out the 200g of pastry and use that as a lid.
- Prick two holes in the top of the lid then brush with the egg white.
- Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 30-40mins or until crisp and golden.
- Serve with mash, green veg and the left over gravy.