My take on a vegetable loaded steak & ale pie. Enjoy!
Step 1: BoM
1.5 lb stew meat
Bacon lard or a couple strips of bacon
1 large onion
2-3 large carrots
1 pack mushrooms
2 cups beef stock
1/2-3/4 cup preferred ale *to taste
2-3 tbs olive oil
4 tbs flour, divided.
1 tsp sea salt *to taste
1 tsp pepper *to taste
1/2 bay leaf
1 tbs worcheshire sauce *to taste
1-2 rolls of puff pastry (2 if you're doing top and bottom)
1 egg mixed with 2 tbs water (egg wash)
Note: "to taste" means that ingredient amounts to be adjusted slowly to match your flavor preferences. What I like might not necessarily be the same as what you like.
Step 2: The Meat
Add salt, pepper, and 2 tbs flour to the stew meat and then set aside on paper towel to dry. When browning meat you don't want the meat to be damp.
Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a pan. Heat on medium-high. When the pan is sizzling add the bacon or bacon lard and let brown. After a few minutes begin adding the beef and brown on each side for a few minutes. Transfer all of the meat to a big pot.
Add the beef/vegetable stock to the pot and let simmer on low heat.
Step 3: The Vegetables
Dice, chop, or slice all of your vegetables. Add the carrots to the same pan you cooked the meat in and let soften. After about 5-8 minutes, add the onions.
Step 4: The Ale
Add about 1/2 cup of ale to the pan your carrots and onions are cooking in. Let simmer. The drippings from the meat will soften and you can use a wooden spoon to pull the drippings up and mix them in the with ale. Sounds weird, but the drippings contain a LOT of flavor. When the carrots and onions have soften, transfer them to the pot with the beef.
Step 5: Simmer
Add mushrooms and potatoes. Add worcheshire sauce and additional salt/pepper if necessary. Cover and let cook over medium heat for about 30-35 minutes. Don't forget to taste-test periodically to make sure the flavor is where you want it.
At this time, preheat your oven to 425.
Step 6: Pastry
Butter the baking dish you'll be finishing the pie in and then roll out the pastry to cover the bottom. Reserve a piece of the pastry for topping the pie.
Bake the bottom pastry for about 10-15 minutes. The purpose of this step is to ensure a fully cooked bottom crust. Nothing worse than a doughy pie.
Step 7: Fill
Using a slotted spoon or something similar, scoop the steak and ale filling into the pie. Avoid getting too much of the sauce into the pie as it'll make things soggy. Set aside any extra sauce/filling.
Top the pie with the rest of the pastry. Hopefully you have enough pastry dough, I only had a roll and a half--which I thought would be enough.
Step 8: Bake
Brush with egg wash (egg and water mixture). With a sharp knife, put a couple slits into the top of the pie and then bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes.