steak and ale pie: low syn and delicious

Steak and ale pie. No look, I’m not even going to waffle on for 1000 words about not being able to tie my shoelaces or an hilarious encounter in the office lift. You’re here for steak and ale pie, and we’re the ones to give it to you. Now let’s make one thing clear though – no amount of fancy recipe is going to allow you to have pastry all the way around the dish like a proper pie. Other blogs might suggest you use a Weight Watchers wrap instead of pastry but that’s like using a dildo instead of a toothbrush – it’s just not the same and you’ll chip your teeth. A wrap is bread. Pastry is delicious fat and flour. So, because we’re big fans of the old ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’, we say use proper pastry, use proper ale, and enjoy your dinner. Eat properly, not Frankenfood. You’re allowed 15 syns a day for goodness sake, don’t save them for some rotten homemade Hari-no jelly sweets and fifteen Muller Lights. It’s your body. Let’s do this.

This makes enough for four ‘pies’. The filling is very rich, as you’d expect, and the pastry creates a lovely thick lid to mop up the sauce. You’ll need four pie dishes or small vessels. Or just make a big one and eat it all yourself. Serve with whatever veg you like! Oh and a heavy casserole dish is better, rather than a bog-standard pan, but either way is fine.

steak and ale pie

steak and ale pie

to make a steak and ale pie, you’ll need:

  • about 1kg of braising steak – now, you don’t need to spend a massive amount here because it cooks for long enough to make it tender, but don’t go buying the Tesco Value shoe-leather steaks because you’ll be chewing it come December
  • one large white onion
  • two cloves of garlic
  • two fat carrots sliced into discs
  • a pinch of chilli powder
  • two beef stock cubes made into 600ml of stock
  • a 330ml (small) bottle of whatever ale you want – because we’re Geordies divvent-ya-knaa we use Newcastle Brown Ale. Couldn’t get more Northern if Sting came and made the stock for us. I’m glad he didn’t, because he’s a self-aggrandising arrogant prick, but sssh (6 syns)
  • two tsp of thyme (if dried) or a good pinch if fresh
  • a tin of marrowfat peas, or if you prefer, a good handful of frozen peas
  • optional: button mushrooms cut in half
  • 100g Jus-Rol lighter puff pastry (16 syns) (and actually, although you use 25g each for the lid, that’s being very generous – you’ll probably find yourself using less)
  • one egg
  • pinch of salt and pepper

If you’re wondering where we got our fancy dishes from – they’re actually soup bowls from Le Creuset, which you can still buy on Amazon – just saying!

to make a steak and ale pie, you should:

  • roughly chop the onion – you’re not going for presentation here so don’t take your time
  • cut up your braising steak into small chunks – postage stamp sized is good enough (get rid of any bits of fat) (I know, it hurts)
  • use a few sprays of oil, get the pan nice and hot and then sweat off your onions until golden
  • add the meat chunks – now, this is important – don’t keep moving them around in the pan relentlessly. Let them sit for a bit – they shouldn’t burn, but they’ll get a bit of a crust on them which is far nicer – trust me
  • whilst that’s cooking, mince your garlic and add it in along with the chilli powder, thyme, a pinch of pepper and salt
  • once your meat is browned, whack the heat right up for a moment and then pour in the ale – you want the pan hot so the ale bubbles up, then get a wooden spoon and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the tasty crunchy bits up into the sauce
  • next goes the stock, the carrots, the peas and mushroom if you’re using them
  • now just let this bubble gently on the hob for as long as you can – the longer you cook, the softer the steak and the thicker the sauce, but feel free to add some gravy granules if you want to thicken it quicker
  • when it comes to making the pies, get your pie dishes ready, ladle in a load of the mixture and then cut out a lid (using 25g of puff pastry)
  • pop the lid on top of the mixture – nice and snug – and then wash the pastry with beaten egg and a good pinch of both salt and pepper
  • cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or for as long as it takes for the pastry to go golden
  • enjoy!

Honestly one of my favourite meals – no surprise that I do indeed eat all of the pies. OH BONUS RECIPE!

steak and ale pie

We served ours with a wee little caramelised leek, parmesan and Marmite stack! Easy – thinly slice a couple of leeks, sweat them down forever with a pinch of salt and sugar (honestly, low heat, an hour) – they’ll reduce right down. Near the end, add a dollop of Marmite and your healthy extra Parmesan, then shape into little stacks!

Looking for more pie ideas?

Yum! Enjoy, and please do share.