Cornish Steak and 1913 Stout Pie

Nick Hemming - St Austell Brewery Serves 4

Ingredients

For the pastry:

300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
100g unsalted Cornish butter cubed
100g shredded suet
Pinch of Cornish sea salt
125ml cold water

For the filling:

750g/1lb 6oz Cornish braising steak / shin or skirt, cut into chunks

600ml/pint of St Austell`s 1913 stout or HSD (soak the beef in the stout overnight)
3 tbsp plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves crushed
200g whole baby onions
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
handful fresh thyme sprigs
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
400g/14oz chestnut or white mushrooms cut into quarters

Method

  1. For the pastry, add the flour, suet, butter and a pinch of salt into a bowl and use your finger tips to rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the cold water, gently bringing it together. Alternatively blend all ingredients in a food processer and slowly add the water. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for later.
  2. For the filling, drain the beef from the stout (keeping the liquid to one side) and pat dry with a clean towel, then mix the beef with the flour and some salt and pepper. The best way to do this without making too much mess is to put everything into a large food bag, seal, and shake.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large pan up to a high heat, shake off the excess flour from the beef and keeping the chunks well-spaced fry until golden-brown all over.
  4. Transfer the meat to a bowl, then add a splash of stout to the pan and scrape up any meaty bits. Tip the liquid into the bowl of meat. Wipe out the pan, then add a tablespoon of oil with the garlic, onions, mushrooms and herbs and fry to soften for a few minutes.
  5. Put the beef back into the pan. Pour in the stout, then add the tomato purée and balsamic vinegar. If necessary, add a little hot water to ensure the meat is covered in liquid (this will prevent the beef from drying out). Bring to the boil, skimming off any impurities, then cover and simmer the stew for 1-1½ hours until the beef is almost tender and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Set aside to cool, overnight if possible.
  7. To make the pie, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Flour the work surface, then roll out the pastry until it is roughly 1cm thick and a little larger than your pie dish.
  8. Put the filling into a pie dish and brush the edges with a little water or beaten egg.
  9. Place the pastry on top by laying the pastry over a rolling pin to lift it. Press down gently to seal.
  10. Cut a couple of slits in the top of the pie to release steam. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden-brown all over.

Top Tip – Why not try adding 100g of crumbled Cornish Blue cheese to the top of the pie before you put on the pastry lid? This will give even more richness and flavour.

To Serve – Serve up this great tasting steak pie with hot buttered Cornish early potatoes and a fresh green veg.