Steak and Ale Pie is a traditional Scottish meal. With flaky puff pastry on top, this is the best pie I’ve ever tasted. This recipe is one that my mom would make every Sunday, and I could smell it cooking all day long!
Sometimes it can be hard to write about food day after day. Any food blogger will tell you that. Inspiration and excitement are always needed, but not always readily at hand.
There are no worries today though because this is a recipe I’ve been yearning to share with all of you since I first tasted it! You see, steak ale pie and I have a history together. I grew up with it and regularly ate my mom’s homemade version with puff pastry for dinner on Sundays.
It was a thing. If you visit any local butcher shop in my hometown, they’ll exclaim that their own steak and ale pie is the best and that any other butcher’s pies are terrible.
Can you believe that there are still independent local butchers? I remember going in as a boy, walking on the sawdust floor and peering at them chopping up carcasses with huge cleavers and bloodied aprons.
The perfect steak and ale pie
The perfect Scottish pie must have a thick, dark gravy. The meat has to be tender and flaky and the rich taste comes from hours and hours of slow cooking. The top must be a layer of light puff pastry cooked long enough to not be soggy on the bottom, but short enough not to be burned on the surface. You can use a heavy pie pan or regular pie dish to make this pie.
Can you see why I’m picky about my steak pie?
What kind of beef can I use?
Stewing steak or chuck roast is perfect. They take a long time to cook, but after hours of cooking, the chunks of meat will melt like butter.
What do I serve with steak ale pie?
I’ve tried other recipes since leaving Scotland, but none of them have delivered the above (slightly) compulsive must-haves for my perfect pie. So after looking at many methods and writing down all of the flavors I like, I came up with this version.
This is a perfect meal for a cold day, but even in the summer, you could still have this as a Sunday family dinner. It’s almost a one-pot meal, but feel free to add a side salad or roasted potatoes on the side.
What kind of beer should I use?
Don’t worry about the taste of the beer; it gets cooked off. Although, it leaves its special flavor, so don’t skimp on it. I used a good chocolate stout, it was a wise, tasty choice and I got to drink the leftovers!
Can I use frozen puff pastry for the top?
Of course! Using frozen puff pastry is a huge time advantage and tastes really good. Make sure you roll it out to size while it’s at room temperature and don’t handle it too much. Brush it with some egg wash for a shiny golden color.
Check out these other slow-cooked meat recipes. The perfect comfort food!
- Lamb casserole with baby potatoes
- Slow cooker beer-braised lamb shoulder
- Grilled tri-tip
- Beef casserole with mushrooms
- Slow cooker orange beef
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Steak and Ale Pie
- 2 lbs chuck roast steak
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup sliced onion
- 4 ounces diced Pancetta
- 1 clove large garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups good dark ale beer or stout divided
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 7 ounces mushrooms cut in half if large
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. You'll need a 10 inch x 2 inch pie dish.
- Cut the chuck roast into cubes about 1 1/2-2 inches
- Place the chopped beef and flour into a bowl.
- Toss the beef until covered evenly in the flour.
- Heat half of the oil in a large pan- at least 10 inch wide- over a high heat. Gently drop in half of the beef and sear on each side until brown and crispy around the edges (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate and sear the remaining meat, and then add the freshly seared meat to the rest of it on the plate.
- Once the beef is done add the onion, garlic, and Pancetta. Cook until the onion starts to get soft over a medium heat.
- Add a half cup of the beer and deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the Worcestershire Sauce, tomato paste, sugar, and herbs and stir.
- Add the remaining 1 cup beer and the beef broth. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Mix in the mushrooms and the seared beef and stir to combine.
- Transfer the filling to the pie dish.
- Bake in the oven for 2 hours, covered with foil.
- After 2 hours, cook for a further 30 minutes uncovered.
- Take the pie out of the oven and dissolve the cornstarch with the water. Add it to the pie filling and gently stir through.
- Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Unroll the pastry from its package into a square.
- Lift the pastry onto the pie and brush it with the beaten egg.
- Place the pie back into the oven and bake for another 30 minutes or until the pastry is a deep golden color and has risen up a little. Don't worry if you take it out earlier, the filling is already cooked so it just depends on how dark and crispy you want your puff pastry.
- Let rest for 5 minutes and serve in bowls.